No More Reviews in Google Play App Descriptions

March 13th, 2015

No More Reviews in Google Play App Descriptions
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

Google recently updated their Google Play guidelines with one notable change: the use of user app reviews in the Google Play app description field is now prohibited. After a potential user views an app's title and short description in Google Play, is some cherry-picked testimonial really going to sway them into installing an app? Does anyone reading an app's full description really care about what Roto619SD4Life said about the app?

Probably not - but here is what is going on.

Google has clear rules for keyword stuffing and the use of irrelevant keywords, brands or references in the Title, Short and Full Description fields. For example (from Google) - this is not ok:

just like Candy this game is sweet and you'll have a crush on the game in no time

One way mobile app publishers were getting around the "irrelevant" or keyword spamming rules was by adding keyword-stuffed user testimonials. Google did a pretty good job of both explaining what and why this is unacceptable and adding some humor to show just how over the top some publishers have been with this: User Reviews in Google Play Google didn't list all of the irrelevant and stuffed keywords in this - but here is a start:

Gems with Friends, Candy Crush Saga, Shipwrecked, Cut the Rope: Time Trave, 4 Pics 1 wrong, etc......

So obviously spammy. Since Google Play does not utilize a hidden keywords field like Apple does for its App Store, more emphasis is placed on the App Title, Short and Full descriptions, all of which are public. We certainly do not encourage our clients to attempt these or any other short-term hacks.

Our best practices for Google Play include:

  • an App Title formatted as "Brand" + 2-3 words on function,
  • a Short Description focused on converting viewers to users, and
  • a Full Description that is formatted for easy reading and uses features-focused keywords and phrases 3-5x in the 4,00 character allotment.

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