13 April 2021
Google Play Store is home to millions of Android apps and games. The tough competition to get user visibility has resulted in many developers opting for eye-catching and even misleading app listings. In an effort to tackle the situation, Google has now announced a new set of Play Store guidelines related to how an app's listing should be.
The guidelines focus on ensuring that each app listing has a clear and precise app title and brand name. This is the reason Google has now put a 30-character limit for app titles. The developers are now prohibited from using keywords that tend to amplify the app's store performance and any kind of promotion in the app or developer name. It has also put a ban on using app icon visual elements that also tend to bring user's attention to the aforementioned aspects.
In simpler words, developers cannot use any text in the app name or visual in the app icon that shows or hints towards that app's performance and rankings. It means you will not be seeing apps that claim to be the "best", "top", etc. Even if an app has won awards like the editor's choice or the best app in any category, the developer cannot use them to attract users.
Google is further refraining developers from promoting their sales and deals through the app name or icon. You might have seen apps or games using the "Sale" label within the app icon to attract users into purchasing and downloading the app. Such things will not be allowed anymore. Lastly, app developers cannot use emojis and emoticons for app titles and developer names.
All of these new guidelines will come into effect starting the second half of the year. Google has made the announcement so early to ensure that developers have enough time to make necessary changes. If they fail to do so in the given time, they can face actions from Google's end including the possibility of the app getting removed from the Play Store.