Google Play Search Adds New Filters

May 12th, 2020

Google Play Search Adds New Filters
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

Google Play Search contributes to the majority of app discovery on the Play Store. Now, a new update to the Play Store can help refine the results with filters based on ratings, badges and more. With this change, developers should think about how their apps can be discovered and the impact on App Store Optimization.

Google Play Search Update

The new update to Google Play adds Play Store search filters that can refine results based on up to three different criteria. The new filters are:

  • Rating (4.0+ or 4.5+)
  • Editor’s Choice
  • New

Users can apply any number of these filters to their searches as they search. The filters appear under the search bar, so users can tap on them to select or de-select based on their needs.

Image via 9to5 Google:

The current Google Play Search can provide suggestions based on popular searches. While these can help narrow down search results based on specific keywords (contributing to the importance of keyword optimization) the filters can provide additional guidelines. This can help improve visibility for apps that fall into any of the categories by filtering out competitors.

Search Filters and ASO

Apps that meet the criteria for one or more of these filters may find that it can benefit their App Store Optimization by improving their visibility. If users filter out competing apps, it can make it more likely that they’ll discover apps that would otherwise be harder to find.

For instance, if an app ranks #10 for a keyword but has a 4.6 rating and an Editor’s Choice badge, it may appear higher in search results for that term if users filter for “4.5+” or “Editor’s Choice.” Higher-ranking competitors that don’t fit those criteria would be filtered out, thus improving visibility for the app.


Allowing users to filter for new apps can be beneficial for recently launched apps. It can be hard to gain traction early on, especially when competing for high-volume keywords or in a saturated market.

Developers should remember to pre-optimize apps in advance of their launch. This will help ensure they’ll appear for the most valuable searches while they’re still available under the “new” filter. Pre-optimizing can help gain clicks for its keywords early on, providing a strong starting point for search optimization.

Editor’s Choice

Being an Editor’s Choice featured app already has several benefits, particularly improved visibility on the Play Store. Enabling users to filter out apps that haven’t been featured provides a boost that can continue even afterwards, as the Editor’s Choice badge remains.

This can provide a more visible channel for apps that have at any point been featured as Editor’s Choice. In addition, users searching with that filter are more likely to trust the apps they find in the search results, as they’ve been given a stamp of approval from the Play Store.

4.0+ and 4.5+ Ratings

The fact that users can filter by star ratings makes reputation management all the more valuable. App developers will want to maintain a high rating in the Play Store by responding to user concerns, updating to provide the best performance and maintaining the trust of their users. The 0.1 difference between a 4.5 and 4.4 rating can make all the difference when users filter for apps rated 4.5 and above.


The Google Play Search filters can help improve discoverability for apps that fall within the filter categories. This can provide a nice boost for new apps and continued benefits for Editor’s Choice apps, as well as another reason to practice reputation management to maintain a high ranking.

Whenever Google Play launches a new change, it’s important to view the updates from an ASO perspective. Understanding how they can impact app discoverability can help developers market their app on the Play Store.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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