Developer suggestions and guides: Frequent coverage violations and how one can keep away from them

By Andrew Ahn, Product Supervisor, Google Play App Security

At Google Play, we need to foster an ecosystem of protected, participating, helpful, and entertaining apps used and beloved by billions of Android customers worldwide. That’s why we often replace and revise our Google Play Developer Insurance policies and Developer Distribution Settlement, detailing the boundaries of app content material and functionalities allowed on the platform, in addition to offering newest steering on how builders can promote and monetize apps.

In latest efforts in analyzing apps for coverage compliance on Google Play we recognized some frequent errors and violations that builders make, and we’re sharing these with the developer neighborhood with suggestions and guides on how one can keep away from them, mitigating the dangers of apps and developer accounts being suspended for violating our insurance policies.

Hyperlinks that take customers again to different apps on the Play Retailer

One of the crucial frequent errors we see are apps which have buttons and menus that hyperlink out to the Play Retailer — both to apps by the identical developer, or different apps which may be affiliated with the developer, however not being clear that these are adverts or promotional hyperlinks. With out this readability, apps could get enforced for having misleading / disguised adverts. One of many methods to keep away from such errors is by explicitly calling these out by labeling the buttons and hyperlinks as ‘Extra Apps’, ‘Extra Video games’, ‘Discover’, ‘Try our different apps’, and so on.

Example of app content that link out to app listing on Play

Instance of app content material that hyperlink out to app itemizing on Play

Spammy app descriptions

One other mistake we regularly observe is the place builders ‘stuff’ key phrases within the app description in hope for higher discoverability and rating towards sure key phrases and phrases. Textual content blocks or lists that include repetitive or unrelated key phrases or references violate our Store Listing and Promotion coverage. Writing a transparent app description supposed and optimized for consumer’s readability and understanding is likely one of the finest methods to keep away from this violation.

Watch this video to learn to keep away from spammy retailer listings and efforts to artificially enhance app visibility.

Deserted and damaged apps

There are apps which have been printed by the builders a very long time in the past, and are not being maintained. Deserted and unmaintained apps typically create consumer expertise points — damaged app performance, for instance. Not solely are such apps liable to getting a low star score and adverse consumer evaluations, they may even be flagged as violating the minimal performance coverage. To mitigate the adverse affect to the developer fame and app enforcement, think about unpublishing such apps from the Play Retailer. Be aware the up to date unpublish motion gained’t have an effect on current customers who already put in the app, and builders can at all times select to re-publish them after addressing the damaged experiences.

Example of an abandoned app that provides a broken app experience

Instance of an deserted app that gives a damaged app expertise

Apps vs. Webview

Lastly, we observe a big quantity of app submissions which can be simply webviews of current web sites. Most of those apps are submitted with a major goal of driving visitors somewhat than offering participating app experiences to Android customers. Such apps are thought of webview spam, and are faraway from Play. As an alternative, think about pondering by way of what customers can do or do higher with the app than in an online expertise and implement related options and functionalities that enrich the consumer expertise.

Example of webview without any app functionality

Instance of a webview with none app performance

Whereas the above are one of the vital frequent errors, make certain to remain updated with the most recent insurance policies by visiting the Play Developer Policy Center. Check out Google Play Academy’s Policy training, together with our new Spam courses, and watch our Play PolicyBytes videos to be taught extra about latest coverage updates.

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