A new feature in Apple’s App Store for iOS 8 seems to be exploitable by the machinations of those looking to game the App store. A news search section that show “trending” searches below the search box – is intended to highlight apps of that are particularly popular at the moment.
However, an analysis by Tech Crunch indicates that some app publishers have already figured out how to game the system to push their apps into the top of the new category. Apps showing up in the trending category do not seem to include popular apps that would seem natural fit, and the app names are suspiciously proper–generic searches are not showing up as trending, despite the fact that it seems Apple is not attempting to curate that out. Further, only perfectly spelled names are showing up, an intentional misspelling doesn’t rank, which indicates intentional placement.
However, if the gaming will have any effect remains to be seen. Apps appearing in the trending section do not yet seem to be enjoying an advantage either in Apple’s app rankings or in independent rankings.