AMA7: Black Hat App Store Optimization techniques

This blog post is part of Growth Hackers’ AMA with Prabhjot Singh, President @ Pyze.

Anuj Adhiya: A short while back I read this Medium post about Black Hat ASO.  It spoke about the prevalence of Black Hat ASO and it being the primary route through which App store rankings etc were being achieved.  What’s your take on all of this?

The conversation around black-hat and white-hat techniques is not a new one. There is a fine line between the approaches and depends on where you want to be in the spectrum: fully legal and compliant, to ethical, to using vulnerabilities of the App Store to promote your app or service. Regardless, black-hat techniques are generally very short-lived and have to continuously adapt, while white-hat techniques continue to benefit for extended periods of time.

Growth hacking apps is part-art and part-science.

  • The art being the need to try approaches to find out what works. It includes creativity and adopting a different kind of mindset based on frequent experimentation, testing, and data.
  • The science being the insights, data-science and intelligence available to a Growth hacker, that firstly, provides confidence in every decision, strategy, campaign, experiment and approach undertaken, secondly reveals the success and lifespan of that hack and lastly, gives an indication on when to pull the plug on a growth hack that has outlived it’s lifespan or failed to deliver optimal user growth results.

I’ll also add that ASO is not the holy grail anymore.

The thing to keep in mind is that app stores are more and more relying on usage and engagement metrics for discovery and these are also key factors in Search Ads.

This is why Growth Hackers need Growth Intelligence to ensure their app is successful in the long run: