Recently, Google made major updates in the rules that all Android app developers must follow if they want to see their products sold on Google Play. If there’s one thing the Panda and Penguin updates have shown the public, it’s that Google takes it very seriously when someone tries to game their system.
Google is committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure that everybody “plays fair” and that people actually get what is being promised to them, either on the Google search engine or Google Play. In the case of Google play, Google doesn’t want to see any deception, spamming, or malware hidden within apps. Their current targets are deceptive app names, icons or names that mimic those of apps that are already popular, and those that could be seen as encouraging spamming.
Google will continue to update the rules on an ongoing basis, but an oft-cited example was the “Find and Call” app that both Google and Apple removed from their stores in July. Under the guise of helping users “organize their address books,” the app encouraged users to create contact lists, which the app then sent to a remote server, where the contacts were spammed with sales messages.
Google served this notice in a post on Android Central. You can find the entire list of rules in the Google Play Developer Program Policies post on the same site.
So what does this mean to you? If you like to game the system and want to use apps as spam without actually offering any value in return, it means your job got tougher. On the other hand, if you are a current or future Android app developer who wants to provide value and do things right, it means that you should be rewarded more for your efforts.
We like this development, because it means that Google Play won’t be cluttered with apps that are really just spam in a nice wrapper. For honest Android app builders and developers, it means that your product will have a better chance of being seen and of standing out on its own merit.
Most of all, it means that if you do things the right way, and stuff your apps with value instead of crap, your app now has a much better chance of turning a handsome profit for you.