Feb 26th, 2015 publishUpdated   Sep 10th, 2021, 4:29 pm

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Google Play’s search results have long been clean of advertisements with Google looking to ranking algorithms, editor-curated lists and other standard practices to let the best apps naturally bubble to the top. But developers will soon be able to pay for their app to be featured above all the rest.

Google has announced Sponsored Apps for Google Play. It sounds just like you’d imagine: you search for, say, “recipe app,” and a “sponsored” app will be the first result before taking you to the rest of the pack. It’s just like the ads you see across Twitter, Facebook and Google Search itself.

Google says they’re doing this to help developers get their apps to more eyes, which would in turn help them make more money. Their 2014 payout of over $7 billion to app developers who run ads is used as incentive.

This isn’t open to anyone and everyone just yet. Google is working with a limited, select group of partners to trial the program in the early going. If all goes well we imagine it will be opened up to anyone willing to dish out the coin needed for prime advertising real estate.

There’s sure to be a good deal of backlash within the community about the move, but if Google wants to make Google Play a more viable platform for developers to make income then they have to start allowing developers to get the most eyes they can on their app. It’s hard to do that with millions of other apps to compete with, so this is sure to be the most lucrative and effective route to that goal.

[via Google]

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