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Google Is On To You; Stop Gaming the Play Store

Posted on 10.31.2016

App developers understand the importance of reviews to their mobile application's success, and as a result, are often drawn to the darker side of the Web.

It is not uncommon for developers to purchase or 'incentivize' fake reviews and installs in order to improve their overall placement and position on Google Play. That will likely come to an end rather abruptly however if Google's new system for app ranking is as effective as many app store and industry watchers expect it to be. 

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Google announced it is now rolling out improvements to the detection mechanisms on the Google Play Store that will punish developers caught manipulating placement with fraudulent installs, fake reviews, and incentivized ratings. Google indicated that the new system is more accurate than its predecessor and will automatically filter from view the apps that have moved up the charts using fraudulent services (such as BuyAppStoreReviews, AppRebates, BestReviewApp, etc.). 

Developers that repeatedly try to game the system and violate the Play Store policies on ranking could even see their entire portfolio of apps removed. 

“These attempts [to manipulate rankings] harm our community of developers by hindering their chances of being discovered or recommended through our systems,” Google’s Kazushi Nagayama and Andrew Ahn said in a blog post. “Ultimately, they put the end user at risk of making wrong decisions based on inaccurate, unauthentic information.”

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