Can we Rank for Emojis on the Apple App Store? [ASO Experiment]

Our ASO specialists at PickASO did an interesting experiment on the Apple App Store, on which they tried to rank an app for emojis.

ASO Experiment: Ranking On The Apple App Store With Emojis

As far as we are concerned (as per April 2019), Apple doesn’t allow to use emojis in the App Store’s product listings. However, after the iOS 12 update, there were rumors about the possibility to be added in the descriptions. It was only a rumor and we have checked that, in fact, Apple doesn’t let you add emojis in its textual fields. It’s not even possible to save your changes if there’s one in there.

Emojis forbidden on Apple App Store

It is also known that you can get coherent results with an emoji search. Below we can see that the online supermarket app Ulabox, Amazon Prime Now app and even Google mobile search engine give useful results if we do a search with the beer emoji (🍺):

Emojis Rank Ulabox Amazon Google

Keeping that in mind we asked ourselves: If we use an emoji on the Apple App Store, will we get any results?

Using Emojis In Apple App Store Search. Can We Get Results?

The next step of our experiment was to do a search on the Apple App Store. The answer is yes, although not for all emojis. For those that do get results, there are few apps that rank for an emoji search.

Emojis Rank App Store

At that point, we can determine that the App Store gives results for an emoji search, but we can’t use them in the textual fields. Then, a second question arises: How do apps rank for it? We tried to figure it out through a simple experiment.

How Can We Rank For Emojis On The Apple App Store?

If Apple doesn’t allow to add emojis in the textual fields, but there are apps that do rank for emojis, could it be that they are adding them in the Keywords Field? In order to solve that question, we used the help of our friends at Catsoft Studios through their game “Aaargh! My Cats!” to test if that’s a proper way to rank for emojis. Another reasonable option is that it happens the same as on Google Play Store, as we mentioned in this article, on which we saw that some apps rank for keywords that only appear in the screenshots.

As the game is related to cats, we have added some cat emoji in the Keywords Field:

Keywords Field Emojis

Before submitting it for review, we tested that, in fact, App Store didn’t give back any results for cat emojis. If the experiment was successful, this would be the only app that ranks for that search.

Emojis No Rank App Store

Once we checked it, we submitted the app for review. At that point, and knowing that Apple is reluctant when it comes to adding emojis in its textual fields, we could only wait for it to be approved to check if the experiment worked. The process usually takes up to 24 hours, so that’s what we had to wait to know if the app was approved.

It was approved!

We made it through Apple’s filter and the game, full of cat emojis in its Keywords Field, is available on the App Store. There’s only one thing left to do: Check if a search with those emojis give results.

Emojis Rank App Store Cats

The experiment has been successful! 🙀 The game “Aaargh! My Cats!” is ranking on the App Store for all the emojis we’ve added to the Keywords Field. So, at least in that case, we can confirm that an app can appear as a result of a search with emojis if we add them to the Keywords Field.

What Have We Learned With This Experiment?

  • Most powerful search engines, such as Google or Amazon, retrieve coherent results for a search that includes emojis.
  • App Store search engine also gives results for emojis although Apple doesn’t allow to be added in its product listings.
  • Not all give results, and there are few that do.
  • If we want our app to appear as a result of an emoji search, we should add in Keywords Field.
  • It looks like emoji search on the App Store isn’t common among its users, so we can’t determine that adding emojis will help us to get more downloads.
  • Last but not least, something to consider: Could it be that keywords become less relevant for Search in the future? Nowadays, we use more emojis in our chats, so it wouldn’t be crazy to think that maybe emoji search becomes more relevant in any search engine.

If you liked it or you have something to add, we’d like to see your opinion in the comments!

And as usual, sharing is caring 🙂

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