New guidelines for Google Play Store prohibit misleading app display

An update to the guidelines for app metadata in Google’s Play Store prohibits misleading elements. In the future, apps will have to be presented objectively and as little advertising as possible.

The Google Play Store is a relevant factor in the mobile sector for all Android users. Here you can find apps to download and find out about them in advance. Now, however, Google has announced new guidelines for the Play Store. These should help to increase the quality of the app display and optimize the selection for users. Central components of the new requirements are the limitation of the length of app names, the ban on keywords that serve as promotions and emoticons in the metadata.

Play Store: New guidelines will be implemented in the second half of 2021

On the Android Developers Blog Bert de Weerd and Tingmui Li explain that Google will introduce two fundamental changes to the app display for the Play Store. These are binding from the second half of the year, but developers are already being informed about them. On the one hand, there are new specifications regarding the metadata for an app in the Play Store, which relate in particular to the name. On the other hand, there are new guidelines for the preview elements that enable an app preview (this already applies that they must be adhered to).

New features for the app metadata

Google wants apps to be presented factually and quickly recognizable in the Play Store. Therefore, the new guidelines for the app metadata target three specific innovations:

  • a limitation of the app name to 30 characters
  • a ban on keywords that are either intended to map the performance of the app in the Play Store or reflect a promotion in the title, icon or developer name
  • a ban on graphic elements in the app icon that could be classified as misleading

The blog warns in advance that apps that do not meet the guidelines will no longer be allowed in the Play Store in the future. To make it easier for developers to adhere to the specifications, Google has given specific examples. The apps must have an app name that is as short and simple as possible.

A simple app name is desired, © Google

On the other hand, elements that indicate a ranking are forbidden – such as a gold cup emoticon or text modules with the same goal: “# 1 app”.

Example of prohibited items in the app metadata
Example of prohibited elements in the app metadata, © Google

Furthermore, no deals may be promoted in the app display, for example by showing a “Sale” in the app icon or a “No Ads” in the app’s subtitle. Google also prohibits installation calls such as “Download now”. Capital letters are also prohibited for text (unless the company name is capitalized). And emoticons may not be used either. This also applies to character sequences – such as “!!” – which have no relevance for the display of the app.

© Google
© Google
Prohibited items in the app metadata in the Play Store
Prohibited elements in the app metadata in the Play Store, © Google

There are also new rules for the elements for app preview

New guidelines are also being introduced in the Play Store for videos, screenshots, images or brief descriptions that are intended to provide an initial insight into an app. And Google is already warning:

Assets that don’t meet our guidelines may be ineligible for promotion and recommendation on major Google Play surfaces like Apps and Games home.

The principles of these guidelines for developer-provided assets relate to the following:

  • Do the preview assets represent the app (or game) factually and precisely?
  • Do the preview assets provide enough information to help users decide whether to install this app (or game)?
  • Are the preview assets free of buzzwords like “free” or “best” and instead provide meaningful information about the unique aspects of the app (or the game)?
  • Are the preview assets properly located and easy to read?

Developers can use the specific guidelines in the Play Console Help Document read up. With the announcement of the changes for the Play Store, Google would like to give developers and app providers an important approach for their annual planning.

However, further changes in the app cosmos could affect the entire digital industry if it is decided in the current legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games that Apple has created a monopoly structure with its app store. This would ultimately also have an impact on Google’s Play Store, to which the allegation could be transferred to a certain extent.

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Source: OnlineMarketing.de by onlinemarketing.de.

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