Does Cross-Promotion Work?
When viewed as just another form of advertising, with a cost-per-action model, in theory Cross-Promotion Networks should work out fairly well for developers. User acquisition costs are predictable for advertisers and those displaying ads have reasonably good targeting built-in before any extra targeting logic used by the cross-promotion network - everyone viewing the ad has a smartphone and downloads apps on it! How does the theory work out in practice?
The Darker Side of App Store Optimization
As long as there are algorithms impacting revenues there will be people trying to game them. In the world of mobile apps there are two sorts of algorithm that can be routes to success, chart rankings and search rankings. Chart rankings are very simple and typically just use some time-weighted download volume. Search rankings are much more complex, involving keywords, reviews and other social or similarity-based data as well as downloads. Developers can use a range of tactics to improve their ranking in these algorithms, some of them much more legitimate than others.