What you need to know
- Google is introducing a new app review policy to the Play Store.
- The new policy will delay the publishing of new reviews by up to 24 hours from when they’re submitted.
- Google aims to ward off suspicious reviews and ratings with the new change.
Google wants to make app ratings and reviews on the Play Store as genuine as possible by introducing a new policy that will delay the publishing of reviews and ratings.
The latest change will hold up user-submitted reviews and ratings by around 24 hours before they go public, assuming they’re from real people. Google aims for the new policy to detect suspicious ratings and reviews on Android apps.
“To allow us to automatically detect suspicious Ratings or Reviews activity, we are introducing a delay of around 24 hours from when users submit Ratings or Reviews to when those submissions are published,” Google said in an advisory, as spotted by Mishaal Rahman (opens in new tab). “In this period, you will still be able to help your users by seeing Reviews and replying to them, but these won’t be immediately public.”
Google’s new Play Store policy should help to reduce the spread of fake reviews on online products. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation into Google and Amazon last year to determine whether they “may not have done enough” to combat fake reviews on their respective platforms.
Fake reviews and ratings have been a bane for many developers over the past several years, particularly negative ones that harm the popularity of their apps. Google’s Ratings & Review page (opens in new tab) on the Play Store states that “reviews should reflect the experience you’ve had with the content or service you’re reviewing.” However, some user feedback on the Play Store can be unrelated to the app being reviewed.
Furthermore, Google warns against posting the same review multiple times, as well as reviews for the same content from multiple accounts. The most recent change should result in more honest reviews that better represent users’ real-world experiences with a product.