The history of app stores is pretty clear on this — the primary ways to get non-negligible exposure is to get promoted/featured (literally “picked as a winner”), or somehow trigger a viral word of mouth event. One can pay to advertise an app, but that isn’t likely to support long-term product development (expense vs revenue).

Nonetheless, there are success stories so if you believe in what you’re building keep at it and keep talking to folks about it.

You cant verify the stats because like in politics, the question is part of the charade. An example of what I mean is carrying out a survey in a poor part of a country, or during the middle of the night outside a hospital or night club. So many entities have their special relationships with their pollsters, and the pollsters are excellent at identifying the best ways to manipulate a survey.

And with the ease at which to produce an app, especially with ChatGPT (if the hype is to be believed), are people just competing against the app stores own developers, to rinse them of their very last drop of income?

Its not like anyone can check each and ever app in the appstore is it?

>So how do people who are not major publishers actually figure out whether Google is unfairly hiding your app?

I used to spend money on adwords when it first came out and I couldnt verify any of the people who clicked the links, and nothing was converting to enquiries let a sale, so I pulled the plug.

Here in the UK we have/had something called the Thomson local directory, its a variation of the old yellow pages, pre internet times.

So I used to spend money advertising in both Thomson and Yellow pages, and before the next Thomson directory was due to be released, I started to get lots of enquiries pertaining to the advert I had in the Thomson. They were phone enquiries, couldnt be specific about the IT hardware they were having problems with and wouldnt even let me come out to them for free to take a look, and even offering stupidly cheap rates, like £10 an hour, they never would commit. I would also ask them where they got my number and they would all tell me the Thomson local directory.

Fast forward 6 weeks, get a call from Thomson telling me its time to renew my advert with them, I called them out, and never heard from them again.

They relied on the suckers like me, not being able to verify whether the caller was genuine or not.

There are lots of businesses, some big names, carrying out crimes. The Law protects these criminals, partly because its an offence to hack them!

And they have big budgets for big law firms who can employ the services of companies like Lexis Nexis for their case law research.

The law and legal profession, including judges are just white collar criminals.

Not one of them have got the public to sign a contract stating an individual would adhere to the laws of the land.

So if it doesnt feel right, dont do it and dont be talked into doing it.

Edit. Dont for one minute think I'm against businesses per se, but in the scheme of things, at least here in the UK my life experiences boil down to this. Employees of the state carry out the physical and mental crimes on kids and adults, businesses do people over with what they have at their disposal, like poor workmanship, fudging stats, or the small print!