In April 2021, Google introduced some vital coverage adjustments for app metadata and new tips for creatives. These updates involved “steering to enhance your app high quality and discovery on Google Play” (Android Builders) and got here into impact on September 29, 2021. On this article, we focus on:
- The various changes have been made to Google Play’s metadata policy
- Why you should update your app metadata in accordance with the changes
- How to shorten your app name from 50 to 30 characters without losing keyword rankings
- The impact of these changes on App Store Optimization (ASO)
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Abstract of adjustments to Google Play’s metadata coverage
These days, each the App Retailer and Play Retailer have obtained a lot consideration and scrutiny for various practices, together with payment assortment or rip-off apps with excessive subscription prices. Google’s newest coverage adjustments doubtless replicate its intention to wash up the Play Retailer and permit higher-quality apps and video games to shine. The updates may additionally present Google’s makes an attempt to limit the frequency of black hat ASO practices, together with false promoting or including an unattributed ‘5-star’ overview to screenshots.
In abstract, the adjustments made to Google Play’s metadata insurance policies embrace:
- App titles have to be 30 characters or much less.
- No deceptive symbols in-app icons (e.g., obtain/set up symbols when the app will not be associated to downloading content material).
- No emojis, emoticons, or repeated particular characters within the app title, icon, or developer identify.
- No deceptive, irrelevant, or inappropriate metadata (description, developer identify, title, icon, screenshots, promotional photographs, and so on).
- Builders should present a transparent and well-written app description.
- No unattributed or nameless person testimonials within the app description.
- Keep away from writing in all caps except it’s a part of your model identify.
One of the vital adjustments made to the Play Retailer metadata insurance policies involved the shortening of the app identify. Up till now, app builders might reap the benefits of more room within the app title on Google Play (50 characters) in comparison with the App Retailer (30 characters). This further house supplied builders with extra flexibility and ample alternative to focus on high-volume key phrases on the Play Retailer. Nonetheless, as of September 2021, Google now requires app names to be shortened to solely 30 characters.
Supply: Android Builders Google weblog
Why must you change your Google Play app metadata?
With these coverage updates enforced on the Play Retailer from September 29, 2021, you must make sure you modify your app metadata as quickly as doable to remain on the best facet of the shop. Just lately, apps going towards the rules have obtained alerts in regards to the coverage adjustments on the Google Play Console. For instance, some builders have been warned they danger dropping promotional alternatives for an editorial that includes all through the shop. Moreover, app builders have reported Google flagging their apps after attempting so as to add prohibited key phrases; different apps incorporating forbidden phrases have seen app publications or updates rejected by the Console.
Supply: Google Play Console
Tips on how to shorten your app identify on the Play Retailer
Essentially the most tough query we see come up from Google’s coverage adjustments is: how do you shorten your app title from 50 to solely 30 characters with out dropping key phrase rankings? To assist our shoppers make an knowledgeable choice round their app title, we created this step-by-step information utilizing an audit for the app Lyft on the US Google Play Retailer. Right here’s a recap of the steps you must observe:
- Analyze the efficiency of the key phrases focused in your present app identify. Do you discover any underperforming key phrases that you could take away?
- Take a look at your opponents’ app names. Attempt to estimate which key phrases they’ll take away and you might discover new alternatives to extend your app’s visibility!
- Refresh your semantic dictionary with new key phrases.
- Consider each key phrase’s quantity and likelihood scores, common rating, obtain estimates, and various potential key phrase combos.
- Put together a brand new app identify that describes your app’s options and functionalities nicely.
With the updates efficient on Google Play from September 29, “app title[s], icon[s] and developer identify[s] that don’t meet the upcoming insurance policies is not going to be allowed on Google Play.” Further adjustments embrace:
The prohibition of key phrases that indicate an app’s retailer efficiency (corresponding to “prime”, “greatest”, or “#1”) within the title, icon, and developer identify.
Supply: Android Developers Google blog
Key phrases that encourage customers to take motion, corresponding to “replace now” within the icon or “obtain now” within the app identify, are additionally prohibited. Because of this, you shouldn’t use textual content to incentivize installs or promote offers within the app icon or title. Emojis/emoticons, repeated punctuation, or all caps are further examples of don’ts that might result in your app being rejected.
Supply: Android Developers Google blog
Google additionally introduced new tips for function graphics, screenshots, and movies. All retailer itemizing preview belongings have to showcase the app’s options and performance so customers can anticipate what the app or sport expertise might be like. Additionally keep away from including any calls-to-action like “obtain now,” “set up now,” “play now,” or “attempt now”, and steer clear of time-sensitive taglines or captions that may rapidly develop into outdated.
Impression of Google Play coverage replace on App Retailer Optimization
Your ASO technique will predominantly be affected by the adjustments to app title size and key phrase restrictions. We count on to watch the next impacts in your App Retailer Optimization:
- The decreased house out there for key phrases within the app title will push builders to decide on solely probably the most related and invaluable key phrases for his or her app(s). With a 30-character restrict, Android builders may also run much less danger of getting key phrases of their app identify reduce off in search outcomes.
- Different future front-end or back-end adjustments could come into play, such because the elevated use of Google tags, new methods of that includes apps/video games on the shop, and so on.
- The title change will notably have an effect on apps in languages that typically require extra character house, corresponding to French, German, or Arabic. Alternatively, it’s going to have an effect on localization efforts in Japanese, Chinese language, or Korean barely much less.
- With phrases like “free”, “prime”, “greatest”, and “#1” not accepted, ideally, all apps and video games might be mechanically listed for these key phrases, and together with them within the retailer itemizing is not going to signify an additional benefit. Once more, this encourages the usage of extra related key phrases in app metadata over phrases meant to play the algorithm for higher rankings.
- The prohibition of emojis, all caps, and repeated punctuation will make it tougher for apps to face out from the competitors within the search outcomes. Because of this, the key phrases carried out in-app metadata will develop into much more of a strategic choice than earlier than.