New guidelines from Google aim to fix listings of Android apps in the Play Store

In a post published today on the Android Developers Blog, new guidance has been created to help developers give the Play Store the information it needs to make sure that their apps get attention from Android users. Images, video, descriptions and even the app name itself play an important role in determining whether an app stands out from among the millions of apps and games available in over 190 countries.
Google says, “Google Play is increasingly showing more of your assets front and center, surfacing graphic assets and descriptions right on Apps and Games home. To make sure that the store listing assets are giving users ensure that your store listing assets can help users anticipate your in-app or in-game experience and drive meaningful downloads, we are pre-announcing a policy change for app metadata and introducing new guidelines on Store listing preview assets.”

The changes being made to app metadata will limit the title of an app listed in the Play Store to 30 characters. Google also does not want graphic images and texts to promote an app’s ranking in the Play Store. For example, an icon that says “#1 stock market app” is a no-no. Text and graphic elements can not be used to promote a deal, and capitalized letters are out unless it is part of how a company stylizes its name.

There are also new preview asset guidelines for feature graphics, screenshots, videos, and short descriptions. Google says it wants to know whether the preview assets accurately represent the app or game, and whether they deliver enough information to help users reach a decision about installing the app. The preview assets cannot use buzzwords like “free” or “best,” and must focus on “providing meaningful information” about the things that make your app or game unique.

The guidelines will be valid starting in the second half of the year. Google says that “Assets that don’t meet our guidelines may be ineligible for promotion and recommendation on major Google Play surfaces like Apps and Games home.”

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