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We've got a couple of [app]s out there for various iProducts:

But searching for "Stack Overflow" or "Stack Exchange" only finds StackUp (of the above) in the AppStore*. This is, suboptimal, to say the least.

All three AppStore pages mention one of those search terms, which begs the question as to why they aren't all returned in a search?

What steps could these developers take to resolve this?


To be clear, while we've implied this in the past...

It's 100% OK to use the Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange, and related names as keywords (or similar) when publicizing [app]s

You just can't imply that the [app]s are official, first-party, or similar.

*As of August 10th, 2010

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I think one of the best pieces of advice is to give it more time. (My humble opinion based on my experience with SEO - which is not much!) –  Nathan Osman Aug 11 '10 at 4:28
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Search on the App Store is a bit of joke at the moment so text in the app description is more or less useless; any possible search terms really need to be included in the list of keywords if they're going to be effective. Stack Overflow and the rest of the trilogy sites are included in Stack Up's keyword string which is why it's showing up in search results.

You need to submit a new binary if you want to change the list of keywords, so I'd reach out the other developers and get them to add the trilogy and "Stack Exchange" when they submit their next version.

For what it's worth, here's the keyword string I submitted with Stack Up:

Stack Exchange, Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User, Questions, Answers, Programming
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If you have one of these apps, YOU MUST MUST MUST mention it in the keywords section in iTunes Connect. Apple doesn't give you a lot of room (100 char. I believe), but it's important that you mention SO and SE, since without them you wouldn't have the app, so if you have room, include them, if you don't, get rid of something, whether it be your company name, or your name, or even unrelated terms that you used to possibly get more hits. If you didn't include them, just submit some bogus update citing bug fixes or something so you can change them, since you can't change them without submitting an update.

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As others hae said, searches only currently work on keywords, and keywords are a rocky area in the App Store. The keyword guidance states:

"The most common rejections are for keywords which are offensive, objectionable words or phrases; using trademarks, company or product names"

The SOF trademark page states

"The Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange name and logos are trademarks of Stack Overflow Inc. The names and logos for sites and products operating on the Stack Exchange network are also trademarks of Stack Overflow Inc."

Now, it also says it's generally OK to use the name, but don't explicitly say "You can use the names in advertising" (though I'm sure that's what was meant, as long as it doesn't appear to be an endorsement). As we know, the App Store reviewers are not very nuanced and I really didn't want a rejection fight or post-release pull off for Six to Eight v1.0, so I was quite conservative (this also explains the 17+ age rating). They're also not consistent, so the fact that other apps already used them is no defence in their eyes.

I've a version with a few minor bug fixes coming, and I plan to use that to drop the age rating, add the keywords and have any arguments that might result. They're sometimes easier on updates, and I can give more explanation in my review notes to explain (there was limited space left for 1.0).

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