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Google steps up on Play Store app quality and safety by cracking down on spammy listings

By Liu Hongzuo - on 3 May 2021, 11:31am

Google steps up on Play Store app quality and safety by cracking down on spammy listings

A negative demonstration of an app listing with problematic elements numbered. Source: Android Developers Blog.

While it's much easier to find the correct app on the Google Play Store these days, one cannot deny how the app store looks a little too cluttered and spammy with plenty of low-quality clone apps that tout even lower quality design.

It's not as if Google did not know that misleading app listings can affect a user's download decisions. As such, Google has decided to improve app quality and app discovery by introducing stricter app listing guidelines.

The new guidelines are summarised in the Android Developers Blog. Apps now are limited to titles with 30 characters or less, and the titles cannot even imply the app's performance or download rankings. App titles can't have capitalised words unless the brand name itself has them. Emojis and special characters that aren't relevant to the app or in the app's original name are also prohibited.

The app icon must be clean, too. No "sale" banners, no ranking banners, nada. Deals cannot be promoted visually in the app icon, and no graphical element can be misleading.

The final cherry on top is the Play Store's upcoming asset guidelines for apps. Soon, apps with screenshots, videos, and graphics that don't accurately represent the contents or user experience won't be promoted by Google Play. Also, the previews of the apps must be free of buzzwords - no more "free" or "best" or other gimmicky text - and must focus on providing information about the app's features. These upcoming guidelines will go live in H2 2021.

Source: Google (Android Developers Blog)

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