Google Play Ranking Frustration

Hi everyone,

I stumbled across this forum and wanted to know everyone’s experience with incentivized installs and they impact Google Play ranking. I launched an app “Rocket Redeem” on Dec. 31:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rfm.rocketredeem

I bought 10K incent installs from CPIMobi and various Fiverr gigs for installs. I did not target any specific country because I did know how much it would matter - I figured as many installs from all over as the network could provide would be great, though it seems maybe I should have focused US only. In any event, it is listed under Entertainment and has never breached the top 500 even in New Free despite having great reviews and 3,400 worldwide downloads the first day. There are some apps at the bottom of the Top New Free 500 that have 1 star, some only have 10 downloads, etc…?? The top few apps have 3 star ratings??:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/category/ENTERTAINMENT/collection/topselling_new_free

Essentially this was a waste of $1000 bucks and I ended up stopping the campaign after 3 days and 5,000-6,000ish total installs (incent installs tapered after the first few days).

My only conclusion here is that the Google Play Ranking system favors, perhaps higher than any other metric, the retention rate of your app. Can anyone chime in on their experience? I keep seeing incent services say xx number of downloads in xx category in the first xx days of app launch will get you with a ranking range of xx. Can anyone speak to this? I wonder if anyone has noticed a Google Play Ranking algorithm change very recently?

As a side note, even though I am getting abysmal download numbers from this marketing strategy not working at all, if anyone has any apps they would like very cheap worldwide incent installs ($5 per 100 installs/increments of 100) albeit at a very slow rate (maybe 10 a day)…PM me with your Google Play link and any requests…