For a while now, the Google Play Store has been inundated with fake five-star reviews of apps, likely bought and paid for by developers who are hoping to get a leg up in the cutthroat world of app promotion. A few months ago, Google announced it was looking into ways to help combat these fraudulent reviews to provide consumers with a trustworthy experience when choosing which apps to download.
Now, Google says it has improved the ways it can identify fake reviews with greater accuracy. For most people, this means nothing as you’ll continue to use the Play Store as you always have. For developers who use a third-party marketing service to promote apps, you’ll need to check-in with the company you’re using to make sure they adhere to the Google Play Developer Policy.
This policy clearly states that reviews and ratings should be organic and come from genuine users and that developers and their marketing firms should not attempt to manipulate the ratings in any way, including paid and incentivized reviews.
It remains to be seen how effective Google’s new techniques are at combatting spam reviews, but here’s to hoping Google can make the Play Store a better place for determining which apps are genuine and which apps are creating fake reviews in the hopes of climbing the ranks.