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Case Study – Do Google +1′s Increase App Rankings?

There’s always been a theory that Google +1′s impact rankings of Android apps. Google Play store factors in at least a dozen or more variables when it comes to ranking your app and some of these variables are often more heavily weighted than others like when the app contains the keyword in the title.

We wanted to test the significance of Google +1′s and if it held enough weight to make a significant increase or decrease in our app rankings.

Here’s what we found out….

From our experience, most Google +1′s will come naturally. Some of our apps already have a couple hundred without us even asking for them.

We had an app that was released back in November that wasn’t doing too well compared to it’s sister apps. Its ranking had never reached the top 10 and for the most part has been stagnant this whole time.

Before the case study even started, we only had 7 Google +1′s. How were we supposed to increase the count into the hundreds?

Buy them.

We headed over to Fiverr, home of the worlds most desperate workers where you can find literally anything for just 5 bucks. We found a guy who promised us at least 300 Google +1′s for just $5. He could even do upwards of 2000+ but we figured 300 should be enough to make a dent in the rankings…. or so we thought. We requested the seller to drip the Google +1′s over several days to not raise any red flags.

When it was all said and done, our Google +1 count increased to over 300 more than before the test began. The drip was completed sometime in early February so it’s been at least a month which has given the app enough time to cause movement in the rankings.

gplus

Luckily, we were using our handy Google Play store keyword rank tracker to track various keywords pertaining to this app. From looking at the graph below, I think it’s safe to say that Google +1′s had little to no impact whatsoever on our keyword rankings. The slight uptick in March wasn’t anything we did as we were/are not actively marketing this particular app. Maybe a slight algorithm tweak by Google?

rankplus

As always, correlation does not equal causation so take these results with a grain of salt. The bottom line is we decided to not focus on Google +1′s and let them come naturally for now.

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