The most popular Google Play keywords for 2023

Half of 2023 is behind us, and now we can do a little bit of analysis on the most popular keywords in Google Play by far. As you know, knowledge is power, and you need to use this power wisely.  Let’s get some power!

But before we start, we need to make a small reference to what keywords are and why they are so important. Keywords are bread and butter for ASO specialists, it’s hard to underestimate them, but without experience, it’s easy to pick the wrong ones. Higher place as a search result and improving conversion is what proper keywords will do for you.

A good question would be, “Why do we need analysis of keywords if we have the tools that will tell us which words to pick?”. It’s not always about perfection; sometimes, it’s about trends. You need to know what people want to optimize your product even better.

We know what platform we are looking at, and now we will see what counties we took. Of course, it will be the countries with the most amount of downloads. Here they are from top to bottom (here you can find more information about the mobile market):

So, kind of the whole point is to take note of what is growing in people and what is not. It will be 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Do you remember things like COVID-19? How big of a problem it was back then. We just didn’t know what was coming next. Anyway, it’s 2021 people are struggling with a virus that kept them as hostages in their houses. Of course, it is logical that people are starting to look for a way to connect to somebody in another part of a town without getting there. And here you have it: Skype, Zoom, Plato, etc., are skyrocketing their way to the top. Also, people are still interested in how to fight pandemics, so these kinds of government apps are there too. Next year is supposed to be easier, and people will start to recover. Yep, it didn’t go as it was planned.

2022 is here, and it’s bad, to say the least. Biggest conflict, read as “war”, in Europe since World War. But people are people, so they keep on living their lives. So, everything is kind of normal. COVID-related words are disappearing, but instead of them, dating apps keywords are starting to conquer their place on the pedestal. People wanted to get back to action as somebody, definitely not us, can say. Social networks and networking apps are now in trend. Apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and so on. People want to consume. That’s what we are. Nothing bad in it, initially, at least. We didn’t forget about gaming. This part has always been there. It doesn't matter if it is 2021 with Among Us, PUBG, Call of Duty, and Mario Cart, or 2022 with Roblox, Ludo King, etc.

And it’s 2023 here. Things are a little bit shaky; not going to lie; it could’ve been better, could’ve been worse. The big difference between 2021 and 2022 is that generic keywords in 2022 are almost gone. Same thing with 2023; almost every keyword right now is a branded term. Why is that so, and what does it mean for ASO? We will talk about it in the next paragraph. But before jumping to the next part, let’s see what TOP-10 across all countries we were analyzing (to receive more information about popular keywords, use Top Keywords from ASOMObile):

  1. Instagram
  2. Tik-Tok
  3. Facebook
  4. Telegram
  5. WhatsApp
  6. Spotify
  7. Snapchat
  8. VPN
  9. Amazon
  10. Capcut

As you can see, almost all of them are brands, and only VPN stands out as a generic keyword.

What happened? How come to the 2023 top keywords are almost all branded terms? Of course, Instagram or Tik Tok are popular in terms of apps, but in terms of keywords, there are much bigger pools of words than apps in both stores. The small notion of branded terms is not a thing in Google Play because rules do not allow you to mention other brands in your app description or other metadata. Then how are branded keywords all over the market? Easy, they are popular if your app or game can somehow cooperate with Instagram or Facebook; it’s much more likely that users will download your product instead of another one without this function. Now you need to show that your users can do things with popular brands’ apps. How to do it? Just write it in the metadata (but do not forget to indicate that this is not an analog of a popular brand, but something additional - Saver for Instagram, for example) voila, a better spot in the search and all the goodies that come with it.

How many top keywords are branded in 2023? Power of analysis, we summon you to help us in this task! We won’t go far, and it will be top 10 for every country:

1.       India 90%

2.       USA 100%

3.       Brazil  90%

4.       Indonesia 80%

5.       Russia 80%

6.       Mexico 100%

7.       Turkey 100%

8.       Pakistan 90%

9.     Germany 100%

10.   Philippines 90%

As you can see, branded keywords are taking over.

What does it mean for ASO?

That is a scary thing that is most likely to lead to a crisis. Because having brands in your chosen keywords becomes almost a necessity, thus, you become like a small advertisement for them, not that they need it, but more importantly, it is becoming more and more challenging to break into the Top of the search results - brands take everything up.

Will it become mundane “Instagram, tik Tok, Facebook,” and that is it? Nope, other ways of promoting your app will become more popular, like giving your game to vloggers who are famous for playing mobile games or streaming your game, and so on and so forth. To be more precise, soon, reaching outside will become even more important than now.

We want to say that changes are coming, and ASO will evolve - keywords still do not go out of fashion, finding new mentions of words and tracking their signs; all this remains the main thing for discovery and indexing. And you know what? This is cool! We must change and always find new ones; the task is to do something better!

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