Google Play Store will now crack down on fake app reviews and ratings

Google plans to tackle fake app ratings and reviews more meticulously with its new improvements in detection

By: Tech Desk | Updated: November 30, 2016 7:49 pm
Google, Google play store, android play store, android app store, fake android app ratings, fake app reviews, Android developers, fake apps, malicious apps, smartphone, technology, technology news Google has announced improvements in the fight against such fraudulent app reviews and ratings

Google Play Store is cracking down on apps that have managed to rake up their ratings thanks to a bunch of fake reviews. The search giant has announced improvements in the fight against app developers who rely on paid reviews, ratings to boost their rankings.

In an Android Developer blog post written by Product Managers’ Andrew Ahn and Buddhika Kottahachchi, have said that Google is improving on its fight against spam apps, identifying and removing fake ratings and reviews. The post suggests that with new enhanced capabilities, Google can remove such fake ratings and review with ‘greater accuracy’.

Google is especially warning those working with third-party marketing agencies to promote their apps. “We advise you to check-in and ensure that their promotion techniques use legitimate practices, and adhere to the Google Play Developer Policy,” says the blogpost for developers. Google says developers need to make sure reviews, ratings come from genuine users, and developers don’t “attempt to manipulate them in any form.”

Earlier in October, Google had announced it would crack down on “fraudulent and spam app installs.” Google’s systems will detect and filter when an app install is conducted to manipulate the ratings. It also says it will block developers who continue to indulge in such behaviour.

Though this step will not completely eliminate fraudulent and spam apps, this is a right step in the direction to clean up the Play Store. There are many developers who try to fool users into believing that their app has a higher rating, even when it is buggy or worse a malicious one.

Read: Google Play Store has more than 400 malicious apps hidden as games, themes and skins: Report

A report from cyber security firm TrendLabs back in October showed that there are over 400 malicious apps on the Android app store. According to the report, the Android platform is especially susceptible to such apps, which once installed are capable of spying on a user as well as leaking their private data to hackers and spammers.

Of course, fake reviews is not just a Google problem. Large corporations like Amazon have stood up against the issue of fake reviews with the American e-commerce giant filing a lawsuit against over 1000 people back in October for providing fake reviews on their products sold on Amazon. Amazon had said that misleading and fake reviews are bad for the company’s brand and only profit a handful of dishonest manufacturers and sellers.

Now it looks like Google will make sure fake ratings for apps don’t remain on the Play Store.

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First Published on: November 30, 2016 7:47 pm
  1. J
    john dickson
    Dec 1, 2016 at 11:12 am
    its about time i have complained about this and malfunctioning apps several times and recieved emails telling me that what i was complaining about was not possable and all that did was insult me and my intelligence and make me mad, its way past time that the ones doing this are held accountable i still have several apps on my phone that wont work and the developer sent me an email saying they would look into it and take care of it,over 2 months later i have never heard from them again,some of them even got rude and disrespectful to me and all I did was call them out on the way they were doing things, its frustrating! hope this is paid attention to.
    1. M
      Nov 30, 2016 at 4:00 pm
      1. H
        Dec 3, 2016 at 5:41 am
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