Google Cracks Down on Glitchy Apps

August 9th, 2017

Google Cracks Down on Glitchy Apps
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Quality over quantity is a concept that is increasingly difficult to achieve in the app market, especially on Google Play. Currently, the Play Store has over 2 million available apps, but in an attempt to help users find quality apps and games, Google has made drastic changes to their search algorithm. Google will now hide crashing apps from the Play Store and display higher quality apps more often than lower quality apps. The tech company made its decision after conducting an internal analysis of current app reviews on Google Play, where they noted that half of 1-star reviews mentioned app stability. Hiding apps that crash is Google’s way of trying to meet users’ expectations for performance and quality, and essentially weed out unstable apps and games. Google has expressed that they have already seen a positive impact on user engagement, and that users have already been able to use higher quality apps, which has in-turn lowered uninstall rates. Despite Google hearing positive praises from users, what about the developers? For those that fear their app or game falls into this category, there are ways they can monitor their app’s performance to ensure their app will not be hidden by Google’s new search algorithm.

How Developers Can Monitor Their App

Google strongly suggests that developers should use Android Vitals to identify key performance issues, especially if they are fearful about the stability of their app. Google also suggests that developers pay close attention to their ratings and reviews for any additional insights related to the quality and stability of their app or game. Gummicube recommends that developers implement an ongoing reputation management campaign, taking advantage of the opportunity to respond to user reviews. Developers need to identify all responses populated within 24 hours of a new review post and take note of the specific issues that users are mentioning. If developers aren’t already monitoring and responding to reviews, Gummicube offers a turnkey reputation management solution to respond to reviews and resolve issues.

Looking to the Future

While Google wants to offer users an expansive app store, their decision to hide crashing apps offers developers an ultimatum: have a stable app or suffer the possibility of your app being down ranked. Developers need to look at their options and start incorporating user reviews in their daily tasks. If they are monitoring their audience and the current experience users are having, there is the possibility to see their averaged rating steadily improve after responding to user reviews. If developers ignore the cries of their users, technical issues and bug fixes will never be addressed in a timely fashion. Ignoring user reviews can lead to not knowing about stability issues, lower conversion rates and now the possibility of not appearing on the Play Store. No one wants their app to be hidden, meaning it is crucial now more than ever to stay up to date with monitoring an app's performance. As a recommendation, if your app falls into this category you should monitor user reviews to quickly address any possible issues. Focusing on the quality and performance of your app can find you continued success on Google Play.

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