Ok I figured it out. Here is what I was missing:
The App Store Problem
Let’s say you’ve developed your app and it is available in the iOS or Android app stores. Let’s say you also happen to have an active Ionic Deploy that is the same version that you submitted to the app store. Let’s say our fictional user, let’s call her Susan, installs your app from the app store and runs it for the first time.
Because no previous versions have been deployed to Susan’s device, her device thinks that an update is available immediately and will prompt her (dependent on your app) to download the latest update. Well we don’t want that now do we!
This is what the Equivalent version is for. Set the value of the Equivalent version to the current app store binary version if you want to effectively ignore the update if they are using that binary version.