With the new Google Play policy and guidelines released on September 29th, 2021, the app store focuses on providing an improved in-app experience for the users and the app quality. Google Play currently hosts more than three million apps and games across the globe. So, improving the app’s discoverability has been a challenge for potential users and app marketers. 

In the overcrowded app market, for the users to not be misled by fake apps and to be able to find quality apps, Google Play has made changes to the app’s metadata field in its new policy release. 

To police spam and misleading apps and to ensure the user experience is not compromised, the new Google Play policies have been put in place. The new Google Play policies focus on the below two aspects of your app:

  • Change in app’s metadata fields.
  • New guidelines for the app creatives.

Policy changes in the app’s metadata fields.

As an app developer/marketer, you must update your app store optimization strategy according to the new metadata policy.

App title

  • Google has reduced app title’s character length from 50 to 30. This matches the app title character limit of the Apple app store. 
  • The character limit cut down for a key app element will impact your ASO strategy. 
  • Conducting proper keyword research and including the most relevant keywords in the app title field of 30 characters is of utmost importance. 
  • Your app title carries a high-ranking weightage. Therefore, utilize the limited space effectively to enhance the app’s visibility.
  • Include your app’s brand name and keywords so users can instantly connect with your app’s core feature. Use every character in the app title metadata field to get indexed by the app store algorithm.
  • The 30 characters long metadata field for the app title will determine the app traffic volume and the quality of users.
  • In addition to the characters limitation in the title metadata field, Google Play has also prohibited using a set of keywords that incentivizes the app’s performance.
  • You cannot use words such as “free,” “sale,” “best,” and “top” in your app’s metadata field for the title.
  • The same policy restriction applies to your app’ icon and developer name.
  • The new metadata policy prohibits using special characters, emojis, and capital letters in your app title.
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App icon

  • The app icon is the most potent visual element in your app. So, design a simple and catchy app icon to which the potential user can relate.
  • The app icon must promptly convey the app’s purpose and not confuse the users with excessive graphics.
  • Do not use misleading graphic elements in the app icon. The tricky aspects also include incentives to push users to download your app. 

New guidelines for app store listing.

  • In addition to the metadata policy changes, Google Play has also given new guidelines for app images, screenshots, videos, and short descriptions. 
  • Following these new app store listing guidelines can improve your chances of being featured and promoted by the Google Play Store.
  • Your app store listing has to be optimized to provide quality content that will add value to the users. 
  • Avoid using words that are overtly promotional or induce a call to action. Instead, the app creatives must be able to highlight the distinguishing features of your app.
  • Showcase the best app features in the screenshots. Avoid using ratings or false advertising to lure new users in the app screenshots.
  • The new guidelines for app store listing emphasize accurately and effectively localizing your app. In addition to accelerating your app’s growth, flawless app localization also increases the chances of your app getting featured by the app store.

Conclusion.

Google Play strives to offer a pleasant experience for app store visitors. Google Play regularly updates its policies and guidelines to make this possible and provide a secure platform for users.

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A proper ASO strategy connecting your app with the right target audience can help you gain quality traffic. For your ASO plan to be successful, it is essential to include the most relevant keywords with good search volume in the metadata fields.

The new Google Play metadata policies and guidelines aim at removing misleading and cloned apps. Therefore, you must be aware of these policy changes that can impact your ASO strategy. Optimizing your app’s metadata fields by adhering to these policy changes will up your chances of being featured by Google Play.