Are iTunes Links Being Downranked by Google?

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Searching for direct links is a popular way to locate apps, but it appears that Apple's App Store links are being downranked by Google. As TechCrunch points out, a search for "Whatsapp iTunes" or "Whatsapp iPhone" would normally rank the target URL high on the search results page, but that doesn't seem to be the case any longer.

    Searching for Whatsapp's iTunes link with those aforementioned phrases does not return an iTunes URL on the first page of results, and the same goes for many other popular apps like Facebook and Twitter for iOS. Even Apple's own Keynote and Numbers apps do not show up on the first page of results with search terms like "Keynote iTunes."

    When searching for "Numbers iPhone," in fact, the iTunes link does not show up until the eighth page of search results. The results can vary slightly depending on whether one is logged in or out of Google, but for affected apps, the links remain low in the rankings.

    Not all apps appear to be suffering from the search bug. For example, a search for "Temple Run: Oz iPhone" returns a top ranked iTunes link, as does a similar search for Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

    Both TechCrunch and The Next Web have gone through several other examples of apps that appear to be suffering from downranked search results. There's no specific workaround for the search result mystery, but as noted by TechCrunch, adding "iTunes" to queries usually works to provide the proper links, though as seen above, that's not always the case.
    According to AppsFire co-founder Ouriel Ohayon, the search issue began recently, possibly just today. While Google has been contacted, the company has yet to issue a response on the odd search results.

    Update: A Google spokesperson issued the following statement to The Verge: "We've been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily. We're working with the team there to ensure search users can find what they're looking for."

    Article Link: Are iTunes Links Being Downranked by Google?
  2. Squilly macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    Either a bug or a brilliant marketing strategy by Google. As usual, Google will apologize in the coming days of a "bug" I'm sure.
  3. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    It's all marketing. Google want's it's competitors off the first page of any results. And itself/it's own products/services on the top of the first page. Simple.

    I wonder if the same thing is happening to samesung and MS and their related products.
  4. r2shyyou macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2010
    Paris, France
    I actually noticed this at some point last week and found it odd but then added "" in front of my search query, got what I needed, and moved on. But it'd be a interesting (risky?) move if it was intentional...
  5. Squilly, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013

    Squilly macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    Nothing Apple can do about it. It's THEIR search engine.
  6. PlutoPrime macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2009
    "Do no evil" my a**.

    Google is just like the rest of the corporations. Money sucking, rule bending creature.
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Google often has changed the way pages get ranked. It could be deliberate. It could just be that the itunes links don't conform to the page ranking algorithms like they used to.

    Either way - if you don't like the search results you get from google - use something else. Isn't that the mantra people use for iPhones?
  8. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Another day, another mysterious and completely unintentional Google "oversight" or "glitch"...
  9. r2shyyou macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2010
    Paris, France

    Was there something I didn't say that you read?
  10. crisss1205 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 7, 2008
    Add the word download, and it becomes one of the first results. ("twitter iphone download")

    I see this as a relevance issue. I don't think many people search for the iTunes links using their desktop computer. On mobile they make it very easy to find apps, they even give you the price right away.

    Attached Files:

  11. cateye macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2011
    Everyone, please! Let's calm down. This is MacRumors. We know that eventually, some convoluted conspiracy theory borne of blind adoration for OUR side, and blind hatred for the OTHER side, will surface and it will become the one true reason for this problem. Until then, can we keep any reasoned discussion to a minimum? THank you.
  12. X38 macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    There really needs to be a serious competitor to Google in search. Bing doesn't seem to be gaining a lot of traction - surely Apple has the resources to give it a try.
  13. Bonte macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2002
    Bruges, Belgium
    "itunes google" even returns results for the Google Play store.
  14. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Unlike Apple corporation, which is an altruistically charitable organization...not some money sucking, rule bending creature.

    Apple's doing it for is just an incidental side effect.


    Not an unusual response to....well, you know.
  15. Klae17 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2011
    Whatever it is, Google is screwing itself over. Good job guys!
  16. Mic'sBook macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2010
    Hong Kong
    Just few hours ago, I was searching for 'kindle app store' on Google and didn't find any App Store links for that. It did, however, pop up some Google Play Store links for me. And now I realise it's an issue related to Google.
  17. Justin941 macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2012
    They are, when I search for anything then the word app after it, it shows an android store link at top then the AppStore link is towards the bottom
  18. Squilly macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    I'm so lost by your comment...
    Edit, I see. Was replying to the last sentence of your comment.
  19. SingularityG macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2012
    When I search for "twitter iPhone" with, I am given ~3,650,000,000 results (almost 1,000,000,000 more) with iTunes on the second page.

    Only the first two entries are actually the same as MacRumors' test.

    I am given the same results when logged in my google account, which I almost never use.

    In case you are wondering google, my underwear is grey today.:D
  20. virginblue4 macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Maybe there is nothing that Apple can do themselves, but surely this is anticompetitive behaviour?
  21. msimpson macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2007
    Same as it ever was...

    This is nothing exclusive to Apple or Apple products.

    Over the last few years the hits returned on Google searches have been increasingly suspect and less useful than in the past. They definitely promote the sites and products of their customers.

    Being creative with your search terms and options can be helpful. But I do find myself using Bing or Yahoo more often as additional sources.
  22. Squilly macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
    Apple does the same thing... who wouldn't?


    I see what you did there. ;)
  23. Klae17 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2011
    No one said that Apple doesn't like money. Get your facts straight before you roll them eyes.

    Google claims to live under the mantra Do no Evil. That makes them hypocrites. ROLLS EYES.
  24. fh-ace macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2011
    switched to bing

    Switched about 3 months ago to Bing and never looked back.
    Bring works the way google used to. Searching Whatsapp iTunes show the app as the top spot.
  25. Ratoo macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2011
    These days Google are being very douche, true.

    But this issue I would rather see it as a problem in iTunes website.

    I search iTunes links a lot and recently I noticed a very interesting bug: Searched for some iOS software, I got iTunes link with strange country code, not or, but other countries like blahblah.

    This happened several times websites with many language versions, like Chinese Wikipedia. The page ranks are diluted to per language, which must be much lower.

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