Google has announced that it is now rolling out better filtering systems to counter fraudulent app rankings on the Play Store. The company says that these are violating the Google Play Developer Policy and will bring harm to the Android community.
“From time to time, we observe instances of developers attempting to manipulate the placement of their apps through illegitimate means like fraudulent installs, fake reviews, and incentivized ratings,” Google said on the Android Developers Blog. “Today we are rolling out improved detection and filtering systems to combat such manipulation attempts.”
If Google detects a manipulation of an app's placement on the Play Store, the company’s systems will filter it out. Apps of developers who keep on using these methods may also be taken down from the Play Store completely.
Google also reminded developers that if they ask a third party to promote their apps — a marketing agency for example — they should make sure that it’s legitimate to avoid any potential problems. The company says that these changes “will help protect the integrity of Google Play,” the developer community and the end user.
Google already has a filtering system on the Play Store, but this new one is enhanced in terms of accuracy, as pointed out by TechCrunch. Apple is also facing the same problem on the iTunes App Store. Some app developers would buy downloads in order to get their app’s ranking higher on the App Store and in turn improve visibility.
Apple has also taken steps on improving the App Store and even stated that it would remove abandoned apps. Developers would have to submit an updated version of their app if they want it to remain on the App Store, according to ZDNet.
With Google implementing new systems to detect fraudulent app rankings, it still may not be enough to completely eliminate app fraud. However, it’s still good to know that the company is taking steps to make sure that Android users are seeing more accurate app rankings.