Google on Monday announced it was rolling out improved detection and filtering mechanisms on Google Play, with the aim to prevent app developers from deceitfully boosting the popularity of their apps. The search giant says this will help users discover deserving apps, apart from allowing honest developers to showcase their offerings.
In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google says it hopes to reduce manipulation of Google Play's discovery systems, which highlight and recommend apps to users. The new detection and filtering systems will aim to "detect and filter" manipulation attempts, such as fraudulent installs, fake reviews, and incentivised ratings. The company adds that developers who continue to exhibit such behavior of fraud and spam installs, which violates the Google Play Developer Policy, will have their apps taken down from Google Play. "These attempts not only violate the Google Play Developer Policy, but also harm our community of developers by hindering their chances of being discovered or recommended through our systems. Ultimately, they put the end users at risk of making wrong decisions based on inaccurate, unauthentic information," said Kazushi Nagayama, Search Quality Analyst, and Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, in the blog post.
While detecting a fake install may be relatively simple, blocking fake reviews and incentivised ratings is significantly harder. We'll have to wait and see how well Google's new systems handle the problem. The company reminds Android app developers to use legitimate practices when promoting their apps, and points them to the Developer Support Resources page for clarity.
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