If you’ve ever tried to promote a website, you’ll know that getting yourself up the search rankings in Google is a core aim. You want to figure out your keywords – those words and phrases that people might be typing in to find you – and you want to make sure Google knows your website is relevant for those terms.
But, the problem is, Google keeps it’s method of ranking top secret. People can guess how it works, and they give away some info, but no-one outside of Google knows exactly how it works.
Well, I’m afraid it’s the same with iTunes. They never say exactly how they rank podcasts, either within the search or within the categories. But, having learned from experience, we can make a good guess.
So, How does Ranking Work?
When looking at categories, or getting into New & Noteworthy, your ranking seems to depend very, very heavily on two things:
1. The number of highly rated reviews you’re getting
2. The number of subscribers/downloads you’re getting
This means as your podcast is shown to be popular – people are rating it highly in the iTunes store and more people are subscribing and downloading – it becomes more visible in iTunes. It can be a snowball effect – that visibility then breeds more downloads and more reviews.
How Often Do I need to Get Reviews/Downloads?
One thing we’re not entirely sure about, but which is widely thought, is that iTunes leans very, very heavily on more recent indicators. So, the reviews and downloads today count for more than those of yesterday, and those count for more than the day before.
So if you get a huge batch of reviews one week, and then none then next, then that huge batch loses it’s power to make you rank quite quickly.
The upshot of all of this is that you should be working, day in, day out, to drive reviews of your show, and to encourage people to subscribe and download more episodes. We’ll look at how to encourage that later in this lesson.
Next, though, a little on the much over-hyped New & Noteworthy.