App Discovery Enhanced With Paid Search in the Google Play Store
Google announced yesterday that it will soon add a familiar feature to the Play Store: Paid search results.
This announcement came one day after Fiksu reported that mobile customer acquisition costs had reached an all-time high, with 61 percent year-over-year growth. Sponsored listings will enable small and large developers alike to dramatically improve app discovery and better stand out against the Play Store’s 1.3 million apps.
In much the same way that Google’s Quality Score rewards highly relevant results (both paid and organic), Google expects paid search in the Google Play Store to enhance app discovery by rewarding higher quality apps that are more relevant to the searched keywords with a discounted price per click.
In a statement on the Android Developers Blog, Google Play’s Product Management Director, Michael Siliski, commented:
“App discovery plays a critical role in driving your continued success, and over the past year Google has provided best practices to enhance app discovery and engagement, as well as app promotion tools to get the most out of search and display advertising for developers. We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users.”
Considering that about 90% of Google’s revenues come from online advertising, the introduction of sponsored search results to the Google Play Store should come of little surprise. This news came with the announcement that the Google Play Store now has a reach of over 1 billion people in 190 countries and generated over $7 billion in revenue for app developers in 2014.
The look and feel of sponsored Google Play sponsored app listings will be consistent with those on Google.com. Sponsored results will be presented above the organic listings and clearly identified with a gold “AD” icon next to the app’s title, as demonstrated below:
Google will begin testing sponsored search results in the coming weeks to a limited group of developers who are already promoting their apps with paid advertising. A target date has yet to be announced for the general availability of this new feature, but Google plans to discuss the results of its pilot program within the next couple months.