Aug 8th, 2012

We’ve gone over this problem before and we won’t be hesitant to bring it up again: using services to boost your app’s ratings and reviews in the Google Play Store is wrong and all developers should stay away from it.

I’m not even talking about the moral and integrity-inspired reasons here — Google expressly prohibits developers from manufacturing reviews and ratings in the Google Play Store in their merchant agreement.

While the last thing we want to do is put this site on blast we feel it’s our duty. The site in question is, and this isn’t a pay service (well, that’s if you don’t consider an optional $10 donation for immediate inclusion in the app review carousel being a paid service).

The site justifies itself by being completely free to use and by claiming that it’s nothing but “a bunch of friends, rating each other’s apps.” Here are their selling points in their words:

  • Quickly get your app ratings up to the minimum requirements stipulated by AppBrain etc..
  • Repair damage to ratings caused by malicious or careless reviewers.
  • Why wait six months before someone bothers to comment on your app? That happens all the time.
  • More chance of your app being downloaded if it has a few favourable reviews – gets the ball rolling!
  • Please note we are not affiliated with Google or Google Play in any way.

And here’s the process:

The review need not be lengthy, a simple “Great app!” or similar will suffice. Once you have completed reviewing apps (you will be given a week to do this), your own app will be eligible for review. After another week you should have at least five favourable and accurate reviews!

If you need your app reviewing quickly, you can avoid reviewing other developer’s apps and make your app immediately eligible for review by simply donating 9.99 USD! This will have the added benefit of speeding up the process by at least a week.

This is simply wrong. It messes up the integrity of the top apps listings in the Google Play Store. If you feel the need to boost your app’s ratings in such a manner then it probably isn’t a very good app to begin with.

Developers, I urge you to go about promoting your apps the right way. Not only will you eventually get caught, but you face the possibility of having your apps removed from the Play Store.

You also face the possibility of getting your merchant account banned. It’s not worth the trouble for you, and it’s not fair to the users of the Google Play Store to see illegitimate reviews festering the Play Store. Please pick up a new profession if it’s not working out because this is as heinous a practice as there can be in the software world.

As for you users, if you notice any developers using this service or any like it don’t be shy to report the app to Google via the Google Play Store. Let’s hope whoever made this site has the common courtesy to shut it down before too long. [Thanks anon!]