Google bans user testimonials from Play Store listings

Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Android.

Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Android.

Google has made a small amendment to its Play Store guidelines for developers, banning them from using customer testimonials in their app and game descriptions. The rule is designed to prevent the manipulation of ranking or relevancy by removing potentially irrelevant or misleading keywords or phrases.

Many app and game developers use testimonials to highlight some of the praise their title has received and therefore encourage new customers to download it. The choice quotes typically appear above or below a title’s main description in their Play Store listing. However, some developers use testimonials to either criticize competing apps, or simply mention them so that their title appears when a more popular one is searched for.

But going forward, you’ll have to scroll down to the reviews section to see what existing users have to say about the app.

“Please do not include user testimonials in your app description,” Google states under the “Keyword spam” section of its Android developer policy guidelines and practices. “They tend to be dubious and are frequently utilized to include references to popular search terms and competitor apps in violation of the policies outlined here.”

“Let your users speak for themselves via Play’s comment review system,” Google adds.

It’s unclear how long developers have to remove testimonials from their Play Store listings, but the new guidelines are already in effect.