We all know that today it’s very difficult to get noticed on Google Play. There are plenty of things to do to increase downloads and get people talk about your app but if you know a little bit about Google then you know that exchanging reviews is WRONG! Buying 5* reviews is even worse but right now let’s focus on those damned exchange reviews.
When I created the service promote-your-app.com, my goal was to help fellow developers get more downloads and more revenue. With my service websites write about your app and people post your app on social websites. This is unquestionably one of the best few ways of getting more downloads. If I were only interested in your money then I would sell you ratings and reviews. You would get 100 5* ratings for a small amount and I would travel to Hawaii from your money. Fortunately, I am not that kind of guy.
I noticed a few months ago that people are exchanging reviews on websites, forums and social platforms as well. The pure idea behind this is to get the absolute best possible rating to rank on top of the lists by helping each other. The result is great, but the consequences are serious.
What these people probably don’t know is how Google’s ranking algorithm works. It has allegedly about 250 factors taken into consideration when ranking apps but a few are known. Two of these is the number of times a user opens an app and the duration of each run. So even if people looking at your app’s page on Google Play are amazed by the number of 5* ratings, they are not stupid. They have downloaded tens if not hundreds of apps and are used to seeing mixed ratings. Even the best apps have average ratings. Snapchat has over 2 million 5* ratings but also 460,000 1* ratings. When people see something like the image above, they will frown and probably move on without downloading your app.
If you’ve read so far, you know it’s pure logic what the consequences of exchanging reviews are:
1. People are not downloading your app against the so many 5* ratings. Google registers that those people who are browsing your app’s page on Google Play, are not downloading it. This is an alert for Google that there’s something wrong with your app.
2. Google registers that out of 200 downloads, you have about 150 ratings. Considering about 1% of people rate apps, this is also a warning.
3. Your app’s rating looks fantastic on Google Play. Nevertheless, Google registers that those people who download your app, uninstall it almost immediately. This tells Google that your app may be infected with malware, virus, crashes at launch or something like that I am talking about in this post.
4. Google registers that despite your astonishing rating the usage time per user converges to zero.
5. What happens now is Google flags your app, ranks it low and never let it crawl higher unless with some magic trick you manage to attract thousands of users continuously to your app legally. Something even worse can happen. If you are trying to improve your app’s position with such tactics that you are probably doing this to all your apps. So Google flags your account and you can say goodbye to ever releasing an app that is ranking high.
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