August 4, 2017
Google is tweaking its search and discovery algorithms to down-rank lower quality apps in its Google Play Store.
The tech titan said the algorithm change will result in higher quality apps popping up before similar apps of lower quality — those that crash more frequently, for instance.
“People enjoy using apps and games which meet their performance and quality expectations,” Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn wrote in a blog post. “Excessive battery usage, slow render times, and crashes, on the other hand, can be a source of frustration.”
It was that frustration that led Google to make the change, Ahn said. Already, the change is positively impacting users’ engagement. Since the update, people are using higher quality apps that, in turn, leads to more sales.
Developers who want to avoid being downranked can use the Play Console to help them find and fix quality issues.
“Android vitals identifies key performance issues, reported by opted-in devices which have your app installed, so you can address them,” Ahn said. “The pre-launch report shows you the result of testing your alpha or beta app on popular physical devices so you can catch issues before launching updates.”