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Home Blog ASO Basics for Beginners What Happened when Your App Drops out From the App Store Ranking List and What Should You Do?

What Happened when Your App Drops out From the App Store Ranking List and What Should You Do?

May 13 2021

App Drops out From the App Store Ranking List


Security is a common concern for most developers, as some products have a hard time in the launching of the app  themselves, and they don't want their products to have any security issues after placement.

ASO World has done thousands of product placements without any security issues, and the optimized keyword rankings have always maintained a stable growth trend.


listings in the App Store


We need to know that there are only 200 listings in the App Store, but there are actually 1500 ranking data. If you have an app but it is not displayed in the App Store, it is likely to be after 200, which is what we call a dropped list, but not necessarily without ranking data, and this situation is divided into clear list, clear word, and dropout.

Here I will briefly introduce the difference between the three for the owner together with the downgrade.

The common point of the three - clearing the list, clearing the word, and downgrading are all ways of triggering the Apple App Store for violation apps.

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The difference between the three 

Clear list: App's list ranking in App Store is cleared, including total list, category list, free, paid and best-seller list.

Clear word: The App's keyword coverage in the App Store is cleared, which means the App cannot be searched by users with any keywords.

Downgrade: The app is removed from the App Store, and the app cannot be downloaded from the developer's other app pages and download URLs, except for the app in the list and search.

In addition, Apple is quicker to respond to developer complaints about app downgrades. If a developer sends an email to Apple questioning a downgrade, they will sometimes get a response; however, if they question Apple about clearing the list or clearing the word, Apple will not give a clear answer.

Two categories of dropouts of keywords

One is the version update and other keyword inclusion changes

One is that Apple's inclusion algorithm has been adjusted to cause the original inclusion of keywords no longer included

Clear words are generally more serious, generally Apple judges that you have a violation of the operation, directly to your keyword coverage to clear

Checking the ranking list in ASO World

You can check the keyword details of the App on our website to see the keyword coverage, list ranking, download ranking and so on, and then judge according to the specific data.

So what exactly do you mean by "down list" and "clear words"?

Keyword locking and ranking locking

Locked words and locked listings are two situations that occur due to Apple's problems, i.e. keyword search rankings and listings do not change for a long time.

At this time, the App ranking in the search results and the list will not change if you put in much volume in ASO.

The ranking of App in the search results of keywords in the App Store will not change.

There are two cases:

Lock all keywords

Lock keywords for a part

Locked list

Locked list App ranking, i.e. the App Store rankings are stationary (usually the overall list).


These situations usually last for several days, so developers should be patient and wait for a while.

The amount of placement can be reduced, according to our experience, the placement at this time is not ineffective, but there is a certain lag, and its effect will be presented after unlocking (but not all words will have an effect after lifting, which is also related to factors such as locking words, the length of the lock list).

Clearance of keywords, clearance of list

Clear words and clear listings are both ways that Apple can punish an app for serious violations.

Clear Word

Clear word refers to Apple clearing all or part of the keywords covered by the app.

Searching and downloading is one of the main traffic sources of the App, so the App being cleared has a great impact on its own download volume.

Clear List

Clear Ranking refers to clearing the App's ranking in various charts.

This includes the overall, category/free, paid, and best-seller lists.

After clearing the list, although you can still find the app through "search", and the normal download and update operations will not be affected, but for the app with high ranking on the list, if it is cleared, the traffic loss is very big.

Reasons for clearing words and lists

The product is found by Apple to have violations such as brush the list or induce comments.

Apple bugs, which may affect a certain part of the App at this time.

App is mistakenly hurt by Apple (it really does not do illegal operation).

Measures to clear words and listings

Complaint (time-consuming and very low efficiency) Contact email: [email protected]

Waiting for recovery

Apple's punishment usually has a time limit, many developers found that clear words, clear list will be restored in about three months, if this product is not high importance or the complaint is unsuccessful, we can also wait for data recovery.

In short, when Apple locks words and lists, it is recommended to reduce the volume level of placement or hold a wait-and-see attitude; and when you get the punishment of clearing words and lists due to personal disciplinary actions, it is recommended that you can get users with other versions of your own products to reduce user loss.

As mentioned before, in addition to product weighting, there is also user weighting that affects the list changes. High-weighted users are those who are real, stable, and generate a lot of data every day. 

If they are machine brushes identified by Apple, they will instead affect the ranking of the list, and even have the possibility of clearing words and lists. 

Therefore, only effective users can affect the change of the list ranking, and the operation of real users naturally does not have security problems.



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ASO Topic App Store Optimization, Google Play Ranking Algorithm,


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