When my friend added the keywords “angry birds” to his app’s description, it was expected he would get a warning from Google Team for the policy violation. And he got it. Almost immediately. Being a fair developer and keeping in mind many other similar cases in Internet resulting even in account suspension, I would never do such a thing.
However, I also got the same annoying email yesterday for one of my apps. What really made me angry is the way it happened. So I decided to share my experience and ask you for yours here.
So, I had an app which was absolutely free, delivering no ads, requiring no permissions, nothing. From business point of view it was useless. It generated no income for me, nor any value for Google. It was also barely making 1 download/day and was completely forgotten in my account. And it was not updated for more than half a year.
On Saturday I decided to change the App’s icon. So, I updated the icon and uploaded the APK. Nothing more. App’s title, description, screenshots and all other App Store Listing attributes remained untouched. And guess what - I got a warning from Google that my App contains spam, excessive use of keywords and not related terms in the app description. Thanks for the warning, my description was not changed more than half a year…
Most probably there is a random scan process at app updates or publishing new apps ,
So the violation may already existed in the app but it was not discovered by Google until you updated it
I would even assume the scan is automatic and mandatory for all new apps or updates.
Also, Google’s algorithms evolve with the time. So, everything was fine with the previous update (half a year ago), but today I have a problem which needs to be identified and fixed till the end of the week
I think that the good advice would be to unpublish the app. If you don’t know why you got the warning and the app is useless I wouldn’t make google focuses me:)
Would it be enough though? Sometimes bots report unpublished apps. Maybe before unpublishing it would be wise to fix the problem somehow? Make the description very simple and remove any lists with commas from it.
What was actually funny - you eveny cannot update unpublished app, until you upload 1024x500 banner (banner was not mandatory for apps before 1 September).
Hm… you must be following me.
I wanted to unpublish the very old app and GP stopped me by saying I am not allowed to do anything with it unless I upload a valid feature graphic and write a short description.
So, I had to enter a short description and upload the feature graphic first in order to unpublish my app later on.
Does google give a warning now instead of directly removing an app?
Google may give a warning or directly remove your app, depends on your luck.