Mac Developer’s Guide: VersionTracker vs MacUpdate, Using BookmarksX

Mac software BookmarksX






For both Mac software developers and users, VersionTracker (www.versiontracker.com/macosx) and MacUpdate (www.macupdate.com/) are two major websites where buyers and sellers meet each other. Software developers who submit their product to one of them are quite likely to submit the same product to the other subsequently. Other large Mac review websites are Softpedia (mac.softpedia.com) and Apple – Downloads (www.apple.com/downloads/macosx). As for Apple – Downloads, it’s true that any software developer can submit their products to them. But the hurdle is high. They don’t list any submission unconditionally. If your software product has flaws, Apple – Downloads is likely to ignore it without telling you reasons.

As you see in Screenshot 01, BookmarksX shows that VersionTracker’s Mac website has the highest Google PageRank. Of course, the Google PageRank is not the only parameter of website popularity.





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 01 – Source: MacHouse
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 02 – Source: VersionTracker
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 03 – Source: Google






VersionTracker’s high PageRank partly results from the fact it’s part of a major IT group called CNET Networks. CNET Networks acquired VersionTracker at the end of August, 2007. CNET Networks also owns popular websites including Download.com (download.cnet.com) and GameSpot. Should Mac software developers care about who owns VersionTracker? Maybe, they should. If you submit a software product to VersionTracker, chances are that it will be listed at other group websites simultaneously. For example, we submitted a new software product called AskKey Pro several hours ago. (See Screenshot 02.) According to Google, our submission of AskKey Pro is also found at CNET Download.com. And according to BookmarksX, CNET Download.com’s Mac website has a Google page popularity of 7.  

BookmarksX gives the user quick access to Quantcast Audience Profile. (See Screenshot 04.) So let’s see what Quantcast has to say about VersionTracker and MacUpdate. According to Quantcast, VersionTracker has a daily number of visitors around 112K globally. (See Screenshot 05.) The number of U.S. visitors seems to fluctuate around 38K. How about MacUpdate? Screenshot 06 shows that MacUpdate’s daily number of U.S. visitors is about 30K. So VersionTracker appears to get slightly more visitors.





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 04 – Source: MacHouse
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 05 – Source: Quantcast
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 06 – Source: Quantcast



What do Mac users have to say about these two websites? It seems at least to us that Mac users prefer MacUpdate to VersionTracker because the former gives some tools to rate software products and other people’s opinions. For example, a few people didn’t seem to agree on what I said for Split n Join at MacUpdate. And they showed their disagreement by clicking on the frown icon. (See Screenshot 07.) Also, some people suggested several products such as Split&Concat, MacHacha, AJoiner, SplitFuse, which they thought are similar to to Split n Join except that they really aren’t.





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 07 – Source: MacUpdate
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 08 – Source: Alexa
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 09 – Source: Alexa






By the way, BookmarksX also gives the user quick access to Alexa Traffic Details for the selected domain. Interestingly, Alexa’s data appears to indicate that visitors spend more time at MacUpdate than at VersionTracker. Alexa Traffic Details says that VersionTracker users spend an average of about 2 minutes on each visit while the number is slightly higher for MacUpdate visitors. (See Screenshot 08-9.)

For software developers, there are other important factors to see so that they can tell which is better or reliable. As I mentioned earlier, we submitted AskKey Pro to VersionTracker several hours ago. We used Camino to fill out the submission form. And the submission failed. If a submission to VersionTracker is successful, you will receive two e-mail messages. One is titled Standard transaction confirmation. The other is titled New Upload.com product information submitted. (See Screenshot 10.) That’s one indication to see if a submission has been accepted. That is, you won’t receive them if a submission fails.





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 10 – Source: MacHouse
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 11 – Source: MacHouse
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 12 – Source: MacHouse






Actually, we were forced to make the same submission 4 times! Several days ago, I had trouble submitting our software products to VersionTracker. And one of their representatives suggested that I use a different web browser. (See Screenshot 11.) First, I used Camino. I switched to Safari to submit AskKey Pro. I made two more attempts with Safari. I was fed up with filling out the form for the same product over and over. And the fourth attempt finally went through. And this technical failure is one of several reasons why we left VersionTracker last August. (See Screenshot 12.)

Another reason for why we left VersionTracker is because of non-existent support for software developers. Back in July, I attempted to contact VersionTracker. And I ended up asking the same question twice or three times. And they never replied. In this respect, MacUpdate is a lot better although it took me three e-mail messages to get the icon of A-Cownts changed in one occasion. Furthermore, MacUpdate administrators are more active in interacting with software developers. For example, I was frustrated with crap comments posted for MKVToolPack Lite, which we eventually asked MacUpdate to delist. And one of the MacUpdate administrator gave us good advice in dealing with user comments. (See Screenshot 13.) This sort of interactions never occur with VersionTracker to our knowledge. On the other hand, the same MacUpdate administrator sent us 6 e-mail messages and tell us to take down one particular article we wrote over a stalker named MACTECHHEAD. (See Screenshot 14-5.) Sadly, MacUpdate has decided not to ban this stalker.





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 13 – Source: MacHouse
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 14 – Source: MacHouse
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 15 – Source: MacHouse






Moreover, software developers need to remember how MacUpdate conduct their business whether good or bad. I mentioned at MacUpdate that a new update is available for mBrowser. (See Screenshot 16.) In a matter of one hour or so, they made a submission themselves for this software update. We never asked. In fact, we subsequently asked them to remove it. And they refused. (See Screenshot 17.)





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 16 – Source: MacUpdate
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 17 – Source: MacHouse






MacUpdate must feel quite competitive against VersionTracker. Considering what they do, some software developers probably appreciate it. We don’t. Several days ago, we submitted a Split n Join update to VersionTracker. We didn’t make the same submission to MacUpdate just because MacUpdate snatched it from VersionTracker. A few days ago, we submitted a BookmarksX update to VersionTracker. (See Screenshot 18.) And we didn’t have to make the same submission to MacUpdate just because MacUpdate snatched it from VersionTracker. (See Screenshot 19.) It’s true that MacUpdate has saved us some time. Nonetheless, we really wish that they stop submitting software updates for themselves. However, MacUpdate is unlikely to listen.





Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 18 – Source: VersionTracker
Mac software BookmarksX
Screenshot 19 – Source: MacUpdate






In summary, software developers have to know good and bad for both VersionTracker and MacUpdate. VersionTracker is better to the extent that it belongs to a much larger IT group. By submitting a software product to VersionTracker, the same product will also be listed at CNET Download.com, ZDNet Australia, ZDNet Asia and others. However, VersionTracker’s support for software developer is near-non-existent. If you ask questions, MacUpdate are likely to help you. But MacUpdate administrators can go extreme. They submit your software updates when in fact you have never asked and you don’t meant to. We really wish they stop doing that.






Related articles:

Canadian Mac User Stalks MacHouse Over Little Disc+
Saying ‘Good-bye’ to versiontracker

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