BlackBerry App World Optimization – A brave new world

If ASO is not sexy… in Blackberry App World optimizing apps is sexy.
Yes. Sexy.
I know what you are thinking…. there is nothing more ANTI-SEXY that a blackberry… but in this case with the App World (AKA= app store) from Blackberry the way the algorithm behaves, makes it so challenging that makes me nervous… almost happy. (yep… I’m a ASO nerd)

Understanding the Blackberry App World Algorithmblackberry

The Algorithm works like Google in 2005-2007 .
2005 to 2007 were the GOLDEN years of easy-SEO, where you could literally play with Google’s little brain and get any site ranked. BOOM! Fast. Easy.
The reason?
Mainly because the algorithm was predictable, it was like a kids game…. well now with Nokia it’s algorithm is predictable, and the way it behaves present more opportunities of easy rank, not just on thanks to the complexity of the algorithm, but also in how many conventional factors don’t seem to have traction in it’s ranking formula.
Let’s take it step by step.
If you have checked my app store optimization training, you will already realized that both big App stores, tend to behave similar in some factors. But in the case of Nokia App World, those factors, don’t seem to be such an active part of the ranking ecosystem.
Off course… my theories are only theories, but so far here are some interesting points I have discovered.

Reviews = UFOS  .

ufoexistReviews are like UFOS for the Blackberry App world… they clearly don’t exist or make any difference in their every day life, (or do they?) and if they exist… they don’t have any clear influence in the way the algorithm works.
As many of you know, reviews are having a heavy influence in the way the 2 main app stores work, but with Blackberry, negative reviews don’t seem to affect ranking as much as in other app stores.
The reason? In my theory …. the algorithm doesn’t even commute “social signals” or any type of “user interaction”. (Or if it doesn’t the weight it has is very limited)


Yes I know… and if you have 2 brain cells you will understand why these are big claims and I hope I’m wrong.
One of the things that inspire me about ASO is the fact that is changing all the time and some of us…. (the 6 cats that study the app store algorithm closely) we understand that the algorithms are becoming more complex, smarter and social.
Google Play uses social signals, Apple uses social signals… and both use reviews and the way these reviews flow to detect a pattern between real behavior and false behavior.
In plan English: If you think buying reviews will get you to the top… think twice – the system can detect what you are doing.
But with Blackberry … the algorithm is still a baby and even bad reviews or reviews of users claiming
OH MY GOD I HATE THIS APP , I’m uninstalling it now…. !!! – don’t seem to decrease the ranking at all.
Don’t believe me?
Go and search…. (oh wait… you have to have a blackberry First… OK, go and sell your iPhone and buy a BlackBerry and then search then)
Really, go and search and see how many apps DOMINATE top positive for GREAT keywords with horrible reviews.
Bad… bad reviews. Constant flow of what you could call: a flow of negative of social signals.
The fact that this is happening puts more weight in the way keywords, description, density and order of keywords factors.
Now, this is not a secret, in fact in an unusual way Blackberry has announced the way the algorithm works, and for sure for many app developers this is great, but for those who understand how SEARCH works, it clearly shows that if you understand
– keyword research
– optimization
– basic level of SEO
you can have a field day in the blackberry App world.
Let’s go step by step.
Product Name
Product name works more or less the same way regarding optimization… so we move on. We know it’s vital, important, and that the content get’s index in the same way as the title of a website get’s index by Google.
The way they consider keywords is so cool… that I can’t wait to work with more developers in Blackberry…
let’s see, for Blackberry you can add 10 keywords. So so far so good, but here is where it becomes interesting.
Each of the keyword you add can not be more than 100 characters or 3 words long.
This means that you don’t have to do keyword economy like you do in the App Store, where you have to really analyze if is going to be worth to put a keyword that is to long because you only have 100 characters.
So in this case, if you optimize an app for blackberry, and your app is about learning Chinese… your keywords could be

  1. Learn Chinese online
  2. App for Chinese
  3. Learning Chinese App

And yes… those are only 3 keywords. – not 9.
Make sense so far?
already we know that for developers ready to do App store optimization the Blackberry App world,  is long tail keyword heaven….. and presents more opportunities regarding organic traffic than the conventional App store.
I know what you are thinking:
But Gabriel! Blackberry traffic is tiny compared to the other 2 App Stores.
Yes, you are right : But…. competition is less therefor changes of getting traffic are higher.
Moving On….
So we understand that we can add more keywords…. what about the way these keywords behave.
in the conventional App Store density of keywords doesn’t apply or even order of keywords, but in the Blackberry it does. So the frequency I use the words Chinese and Learn are going to increase my relevancy in the ranking algorithm…. just like….

Old good Keyword Stuffing?
Old good Keyword Stuffing?

Position matters.
Also positions matter a lot in Blackberry…. so if your keyword is at the start vs at the end, that will bring a difference to the ranking.
So if I wanted to be relevant for my Chinese Education app…. my keywords will be…

  • Learn Chinese App
  • Learn Chinese Online
  • Learn Chinese Free
  • Learn Chinese Easy

Get the point?
You don’t need to Einstein to understand it right ; )
So is this Good news or Bad News?
In reality is neither good or bad, is the way things are. I believe App store optimization for Blackberry hasn’t even started and many developers are 100% blind at the opportunities.
In the last 2 weeks I have done already 4 tests optimizing apps and the results are 5 times faster than vs Google Play or the App Store.
The reason?
Because I’m awesome. …. (?) and mainly thanks to  how young and naive is the algorithm.. and how un-optimized other apps are in the App World.
Will this change?
You bet… the grass is green and this is a young arena, tons of room for the boys of BlackBerry to improve, tweak the algorithm.
Should you be putting apps in BlackBerry?
Yes. Do it. Traffic is small but easy. You can crush it if you know what to do.
What’s next?
I’m plan to launch a video course for my students in my ASO course teaching more pointers about App store optimization for Blackberry. Join today 😉 don’t be cheap.