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April 10, 2013

Google Play Store receives Spring Clean: Removes 60,000+ apps

Google cleanup
It looks like Google has finally started cracking down on developers abusing the Play Store’s lax policies to spam and promote their rubbish-ware wherever they can. For a long time Quality control has long been a strong criticism with apps and games found in the Google Play Store, one that comes with the whole “open” turf.

Now, as reported by TechCrunch, Google’s been doing a little spring cleaning, reportedly removing 60,000+ apps from the Play Store, an unprecedented high, in February alone. It seems that everything could be automated and while 60,000+ out of approximately 700,000 applications may not sound like much, it’s just nice to finally see Google making a strong effort.

Where a good portion of these were the obvious MP3 scraping applications, others, like the newly released Hazard Rush, may have violated Google’s “Spam and Placement in the Store” policy (even if only by accident):

Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience on Google Play.

  • Do not post repetitive content.
  • Product descriptions should not be misleading or loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the Store’s search results.
  • Developers also should not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the Store by rating an application multiple times, or by offering incentives to users to rate an application with higher or lower ratings.
  • Apps that are created by an automated tool or wizard service must not be submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons.
  • Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to: Drive affiliate traffic to a website or provide a webview of a website not owned or administered by you (unless you have permission from the website owner/administrator to do so)
  • Do not send SMS, email, or other messages on behalf of the user without providing the user with the ability to confirm content and intended recipient.

I remember a time when some developers, looking for greater exposure would upload several copies of the same game, with different names. I’ve also noticed that’s a whole lot less frequent these days. Of course, Google’s policy of not  approving apps before they go live in the Play Store could mean they’ll always be chasing violators, instead of preventing them. I’m sure they’ll come up with some complex algorithm for that in the near future.

Maybe Google should take a leaf from Apple’s policy on applications.

Via:TechCrunch
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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini