Everyone in the Apple Developer community has known how to win the game of App Store rankings for some time: you need a junk-ton of downloads and five-star reviews if you have any hope of being invited to the inner sanctum. The problem is nowhere does that account for apps that actually get used.
While it still has yet to be confirmed, the rumored change to the ranking algorithm that TechCrunch first reported looks to change all that.
I have some issues with the article itself, because several seem to have varying opinions as to what the change will actually be. Regardless, change is a coming. So what are we to do about it?
Many will attempt to find the newest hold in the system and exploit that as well. Just like you can spoof downloads and reviews, usage is no different. Of course, you could always just focus on building and engaging product and let your users do the job for you.
It does raise the question of what makes a successful app. Do you need to use it every day? What about once a week? A month?
I think the rumored change is a great thing for successful developers, but as always it should just continue the conversation of successful software. Metrics will come and go, but if you make something people want to use there will be no argument with how you are ranked.