Google is cracking down on app developers who use “user testimonials” in their app descriptions.
The company updated the "Keyword spam" section of its Android developer guidelines, so that developers can no longer include testimonials. The reasoning, according to Google, is that some developers pad their descriptions with keywords and competing app names to boost their app’s ranking in searches.
Feedback should be reserved for official user reviews. The updated guidelines ask developers not to include testimonials in an app’s description. The guidelines state, “They tend to be dubious and are frequently utilized to include references to popular search terms and competitor apps in violation of the policies outlined here. Let your users speak for themselves via Play's comment review system."
Google tends to be a little more relaxed with its governing of its app store than the likes of Apple, for example, but search is something that the company takes quite seriously. It's good to see that Google is taking steps to ensure that developers can't game the system.