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Monday 7 January 2013

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Years ago, Google revolutionised the world wide web with the seemingly-obvious innovation of indexing websites based on their content.

Before that, the trend was towards more thorough and better cataloguing via invisible metadata. It was the world’s librarians who assumed responsibility for discoverability.

And they did a pretty good job too in the pre-Google world because the starting point was simply based on keywords.

And this, folks, is where we find ourselves today in the world of smartphone and tablet apps which is already turned the world of digital communications on its head.

The devices have come first – motivated by the manufacturers commercial desire to sell more electronic gismos than the other companies.

The apps have followed – pouring by the hundreds of thousands into the Apple App Store and the Android equivalent, Google Play.

The opportunities are global and vast. Everyone has heard of people with a clever idea making millions of dollars with a simple app selling at 99 cents a pop.

But how can your app be found in a “store” of hundreds of thousands of competing products and no real way of being discovered?

As incredible as it seems, considering how advanced the technology is, no real thought has gone into the discoverability of apps.

Like the world wide web of old, the content is out there, but it is not readily found.

My strongest, single piece is advice is “get the terms that people are searching for into the name of your app”.

Keyword searching is the only way to find apps for sale. Therefore, put your keywords into the app name.

App names are like great domains (and business names). They are a finite resource and are owned by the people who get in first.

A great app name is a valuable property, despite the usefulness of the app itself.

So app-name-squatting is a potential past time for those with a long-term view of how this emerging market will play out over the longer-term.

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