When looking for a new app to download from the Google Play Store, you most likely jump into top charts and scroll through metrics such as install numbers, and user reviews to make your final decision. These reviews can help weed out apps with shortcomings but certain developers are said to use illegitimate means to bump up their installs and rankings.
Google has, however, today announced an upgraded detection and filtering system to combat such manipulation attempt from developers. This step forward in the content discovery system adversely affects developers who use methods such as fraudulent installs, fake reviews and incentivized ratings to push their apps to the forefront.
In the official blog post, Google notes that these practices not only hinders the discovery and growth of worthy apps but also put the user at risk of downloading a fake spammy application. Such apps have also been said to violate the Google Play Developer Policy. These changes will, thus, downplay apps from such developers and enable genuine, innovative apps to reach within the top rankings of the Play Store.
If an install is conducted with the intention to manipulate an app’s placement on Google Play, our systems will detect and filter it. Furthermore, developers who continue to exhibit such behaviors could have their apps taken down from Google Play.
Google is not directly stripping developers using malicious practices of their right to post apps on the Play Store. The tech behemoth is surely giving them a chance to start marketing promotions based on legitimate practices. But if the developers(or third-party marketing agency) do continue to follow any of the aforementioned practices then their app will surely be booted from the Play Store.
With respect to the same, Apple is currently also in the process of getting rid of outdated applications from the App Store. The Cupertino giant will first remind the developer to update his/her app within 30 days but failure to do so will lead to the removal of the app completely.
Over the years, developers have learned to circumvent these app filtering systems and they could yet again find a way to manipulate the same in their favor. However, if Google’s campaign succeeds in outwitting the developers then it could lead to a better, more curated app rankings in the Play Store.