November 26, 2020
Changes in Google’s Discovery Algorithm Worry Developers
In the android app development world, a drop appeared recently in download rates of apps and games on Play Store. According to experts, the drop was mainly due to late changes in the Store’s discovery algorithms. Later on, the company released a statement which said:
“Over the last year, we’ve been enhancing our search and discovery algorithms’ consideration of app quality and user engagement. This means that apps and games that have high retention rates and low crash rates are more in demand. Recently, we increased the importance of app quality in our recommendation systems and users reacted favorably to the changes. With more high-quality titles appearing in the Play Store’s recommendations, people are playing the games they download more often.”
The change was seen very quickly by a large number of mobile app development professionals. Who then went to the Unity forums to express their worries.
The first post on the forum states that the average download rate of their app dropped from 12,000 downloads to 5,000 per day. Even though the game hadn’t experienced any drop in its Google Play ratings.
“The issue has already been escalated and our relevant team is investigating it.” Google reacted to one of the concerned developers in a live chat. Since then, Google’s hasn’t made any new statement leaving developers with insufficient information on what is going to happen next. The majority of developers who were looking for further information all got the same answer: ““We are already aware of the issue and our relevant team is investigating it,” indicated a forum post.
Another post on the forum suggested that the change was due to a redesign of Play Store’s app visibility algorithm. With developers reporting drops in download rates for up to 90 percent. However, Google states that this isn’t the case, in fact, it’s the Play Store’s discovery algorithm that has changed.
beneficial for appl development companies
They also said that they support the change and will not take it back. They believe it is going to be beneficial for mobile application development companies.
“We believe that providing great experiences for our users on Google Play will encourage a healthier, growing Android ecosystem. We encourage all developers to review some of the suggestions in this post and on developers.android.com for guidance and best practices.”
It is worth mentioning that Google has been continually working on modifying the visibility of apps based on their past performance.
“As part of our continued effort to deliver the best possible Google Play experience, we recently enhanced our search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality. This results in higher quality apps showing up more in the Play Store than similar apps with lower quality. The change has had a positive impact on engagement. We’ve seen that people go on to use higher quality apps more and uninstall them less,” states a post on Google’s Android Developer’s Blog.