Apple has today posted a reminder to developers, warning them not to manipulate App Store chart rankings or face potential loss of their Apple Developer Program membership. The warning follows recent publicity surrounding services that have been offering the ability to artificially boost free app rankings in the top charts.
Adhering to Guidelines on Third-Party Marketing Services
Feb 6, 2012
Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership. Get helpful tips and resources on marketing your apps the right way from the App Store Resource Center.
Yesterday, PocketGamer noted that one company was offering a service for $5000 where they would utilise bots to download an app repeatedly until it breaks into the top 25 charts. That report followed on from a TouchArcade post, where users warned others from using such fraudulent app promotion services which use automated scripts or bots.