Google Play Store Now Actively Downranks Buggy Mobile Apps

Buggy mobile apps have long plagued the Google Play Store and now the search giant is stepping up its quality standards, downranking problematic apps…

Google is getting more aggressive with app quality in its Play Store, according to a recent announcement on the Android developers blog. The search engine conducted an analysis of app reviews which revealed half of 1-star apps mention stability. Not surprising, low rated app uninstalls occur much more frequently, opposed to highly rated apps, which have far fewer uninstalls.

Google Play Store Algorithms Now Pushes Buggy Mobile Apps Down in Search

The result of the analysis led Google to tweak its search algorithms to surface better performing apps to the top, while downranking lower quality apps. 

“As part of our continued effort to deliver the best possible Google Play experience, we recently enhanced our search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality. This results in higher quality apps being surfaced in the Play Store more than similar apps of lower quality (eg: apps that exhibit more frequent crashes).”

This is great news for mobile users. When people search for apps, they will see fewer which are known to crash or deliver spotty performance. Google is using “performance data, user engagement, and user ratings,” to create what it calls “quality signals.” This change means a negative impact on poorly performing apps in both the Google Play Store and on the SERP or search engine results page.

Earlier this month, the search giant announced it is utilizing machine learning to better identify problematic apps. Additionally, Google created a new program, “Android Excellence,” which curates high quality apps. This is a quarterly collection of the best mobile apps, including games, and more.

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Owen E. Richason IV

Owen is blog content writer, SEO consultant, social media marketer, and website guy. His work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, on Business.com, Tampa Bay Business and Financier, AOL and numerous other blogs and websites. is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.