Apple changed its app store rating system more than two years ago, and this change worked by allowing app developers to have the ability to remove their ratings if they wanted to, with their latest app update. The ratings would then be reset. At that time, Apple suggests to its app developers to use this new feature in a sparing manner so as not to abuse the ratings. Now Google has also announced that it will make a change to its Play Store app ratings, allowing more autonomy to its app developers. This change will work slightly differently when compared to the Apple app store ratings work, as Google Play app developers cannot reset their app ratings with a new update. Instead, Google Play will now start to measure app ratings in a way that favors the ratings that were made on the app in the recent releases.
Milena Nikolic, who is a director of the engineering department of Google Play, has said that app developers on the platform were requesting Google Play to make changes to its rating system so that the ratings can reflect their apps in an up-to-date manner. With this recent change, that will become a reality now.
She also went on to elaborate further that the average rating calculation for apps on the Google Play platform will be updated soon. Earlier, apps were rated with a lifetime cumulative value, but now the app’s average rating will be calculated to show a figure that reflects the values of the recent user’s ratings, which means that old user ratings will have less weight on the overall rating of the app.
This recent update to Google Play will give Android users a better ability to observe the current state of an app, which means that any changes or bug fixes that were made to give the app a better user experience over the years will now be reflected on the overall ratings of the app. An app that is several years old may not be the same as it once was when it was, going through a lot of changes and alterations to its features to add more use cases to the app, and with this recent update, developers will get to witness a fair user rating for their apps.
Nikolic stated that the updated ratings on Google Play will be able to reflect all the improvements and the hard work that the developers have implemented on their apps over the years.
On the other side of the coin, however, this update also means that the high-quality apps on the platform that managed to keep their app updated with bug fixes will now face lower user ratings that will reflect their debacle on the Play store.
As of this moment, it is unclear as to how much the change will have broader ramifications for Google Play Store SEO. Currently, app search results display apps based on multiple factors such as app names, keywords, app descriptions, number of downloads, user ratings and reviews among other factors. The update might have an effect on the SEO of apps, but only time will tell whether it will be a positive thing for the app developers.