BlackHat App Store Optimization — Who is scared of the Big Bad Stupid Algorithm?

This was the daily message I received via Linkedin today to make my day:

Recently I received notice that you would be putting on a class regarding Black Hat ASO. While you have placed a disclaimer on it that you “do not support it”, we believe that educating people on how to perform non-ethical marketing tactics is inappropriate, no matter how much you do or do not support it. Please note, if this class continues to happen, you will be banned from both the “App Store Marketing” LinkedIn group and the “App Marketing & PR” group for ethics violations. ` Aaron Watkins

After reading this message I had a little giggle.

Another group that bans me. Another group that decides to believe the App Store is a wonderland…

So it’s time for me to say good bye to another Useless Linkedin Group.

You know, those groups where “professionals” people post cute articles outsourced, with nice infographics and polite titles..

“the Power of Mobile Marketing”
“10 tips to improve your app”
“How to become a huge app marketing rockstar in 10 minutes or less”

Those groups.

The useless, the lazy ones, the ones that don’t question, the groups with members that don’t do their homework, the ones that re-write the same stuff everyone writes. Those groups that are a collection of posts where nobody engages anymore.

Groups of App professionals that became Zombies…


Happy to be banned.

Because banned or not, the reality is still the same… things will continue EXACTLY the same way, with or without my article or videos.

  • 2 of the 5 top ASO agencies in the world use BlackHAT ASO
  • 3 of the top 10 publishers in the world do blackHAT ASO daily
  • Apple App store can be manipulated with Fiverr Gigs and Google Play is the slave of Chinese Bots..

But hey! I’m the non-ethical person for talking about BlackHat ASO, right?

Let’s wait 2 minutes here…

What is non-ethical is for app marketing companies to tell their clients they have a magical formula to get their apps ranked in the app store….

What is non-ethical is for Appreneurs and/for app companies to close their eyes and not understand that the app store is not a paradise, or a picnic table on a summers day… the App store is a market place regulated by an Algorithm.

An algorithm with flaws and where app marketers, developers and companys need to PUSH FOR CHANGES. WAKE UP PEOPLE

How can you ask for changes if you don’t know what is wrong with the App store???

Our duty as marketers to QUESTION, to CHALLENGE, to EDUCATE yourself, to DEMAND more from the app store.

For the last 2 years I have read the same stupid ASO article over and over and over and over…

  • Optimize your Icons
  • Ask your Audience
  • Do keyword Research
  • Use this tool but not this tool

Same old, same…. and I wonder from my tiny home office in Australia: Why aren’t we serious enough about App store optimization ?

There are Chinese companies getting 1st position in Google Play for Casino terms and nobody seems to talk about it… Nobody.

There are new startups that are manipulating the ranking of the App Store every week by doing the same easy black hat strategy and nobody seems to question them or analyse why.

So that’s the question.

Why? Why are we scared of opening the can of worms…
Well you see…because the app marketing world is full of people like Aaron, app marketers that are scared of confronting the real topics that matter.

The flaws.
The lack of a proper algorithm
The ignorance of publishers
The lies of marketers.

Trust me: I know about App Store Optimization.

I wrote the first book about ASO in the world.
I launched the First book about ASO in the world.
I launched the first course about ASO.
I have trained over 200 companies, had over 500 clients and over 7000 students so far in my courses… and yes I’m one of only 5 guys that make a full living from ASO and I can tell you that the app store SEARCH system is a mess.

Too many questions.
Too many flaws… and an algorithm that was designed by a 7 year old.

It’s 2016.
It’s time to confront, to educate, to stop being scared of what WHITE HAT OR BLACK HAT really is, and understand that the job of real marketers, of real authorities in an industry is to showcase what is really happening.

Personally I will be banned from every single group, removed from “experts webinars” , or not invited to the next App conference… but regardless while you cover your eyes, BLACK HAT ASO will still exist and you need to know what your competitors are doing to understand how to defeat them in the long term.


→ Update: The course went live and it’s available here ← click to here


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