Black Hat ASO

Black Hat ASO is a set of unethical practices to improve an app’s visibility to get organic downloads in a short period of time by manipulating app stores’ algorithms. It is the vice versa of White Hat ASO consisting of normal app store optimization techniques. 

The Most Common Black Hat ASO Tactics

Keyword Stuffing: It is a black hat ASO tactic used for mobile apps in Google Play. It is the overuse of keywords on app description and app title fields to rank higher and to increase visibility of the app. This tactic is the same with Black Hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it aims to violate the indexing algorithm of Google but it is not that much easy nowadays because Google improved its algorithm to improve user experience and to avoid stuffing keywords in text areas.

Buying Fake Ratings & Reviews: Ratings and reviews are important in search ranking algorithms. In order to manipulate this algorithm, Black Hat ASO practitioners prefer using platforms selling fake reviews and ratings. Those platforms are also providing “keyword” based reviews to avoid the app from banning.  

Buying Fake Installs: This is a black hat ASO technique to increase the install volume with incentivized, bot, or non incentivized search installs to reach top charts. It causes a decrease in retention and engagement rates. 

Changing Publisher Name Constantly to Fake Social Proof: Including 5 stars or number of huge downloads like +100 000 000 to Publisher Name field is another way of Black Hat ASO aiming to fool the audience with fake social proof. 

Copying Popular Apps & Competitors: Using competitors’ assets like app icon and app name is very popular among Black Hat ASO practitioners.  




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