Robin Wauters, writing for The Next Web:
Mind you, I’m not suggesting Google has intentionally tweaked its search algorithms to taunt Apple and reduce the number of direct iOS app downloads via its engine, but the change is noticeable nonetheless, and not in the best interest of end users in my opinion. I’m no Danny Sullivan, but I would think that if this was a simple matter of the Apple iTunes website losing PageRank juice, the results would be consistently poor, and they’re not.
I'm surprised that so many writers and commenters would think that Google was suppressing iTunes results when users search for iOS apps. Presumably these writers think that Google is doing this in some sort of bid to hurt iOS/help Android. Folks, the fact of the matter is that Google makes its money via advertising to users that want to use its products (e.g. Search) because the products are good. It makes no sense for Google to sabotage search term relevancy in this case.
Even better is that Google provided a statement to The Verge stating the obvious:
We’ve been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily. We’re working with the team there to ensure search users can find what they’re looking for.