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MDHQ_Logo4cMobile app developers live and die by how easily their apps are discovered in the various app stores from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. And any small tweak in the app stores can have a dramatic impact.

But now a new service from Seattle startup MobileDevHQ is trying to help those developers make sense of why their apps may have risen or fallen.

It’s called Sonar, and the new service is launching today. Basically, it is an algorithm that analyzes the algorithm of app stores, giving developers insights into what may be impacting their apps. The company said that it has reverse engineered the app stores to better understand how they work.

“While a change in results for just one search query wouldn’t indicate a change in the app store’s algorithm, looking for trends across 400,000 search results can,” said MobileDevHQ CEO Ian Sefferman. “Because this requires huge amounts of data and great algorithms, Sonar is something that is incredibly difficult for an individual app marketer — or anyone else — to replicate.” 

He continued:

App marketers can use this in a couple main ways: first, they can now proactively learn about changes in the app stores’ algorithms, ensuring they can react quickly to continue to rank highly in app store search. Second, they can use it to explain changes in their own rank. For instance, if a marketer notices a large drop (or increase) in their search rankings, they can check Sonar to see if that was due to a change on their end, or part of a wider algorithm change.

At this point, the service is available for the Apple store, with plans to expand into Google Play later this month. A TechStars Seattle grad, MobileDevHQ raised $650,000 from Founder’s Co-op and others last December. It employs seven people.

Previously on GeekWireTechStars Spotlight: MobileDevHQ looks to help propel apps up the charts

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