Google Play - Spammers occupating Top New Free lists

This make me really angry, Top new list is full of stupid, idiotic applications made by just few developers. I will give an examples:

  1. This guy made like 120 apps, all are crappy, all same principle, half of them contains keyword “hair” - and he has like 10 apps in top new free list

  2. this is much better, but similar - guy made like 20 exactly same apps (or are based on “phone led light” princip) and he has again 10 apps in Top New Free list

What the hell, this is not against Google’s policy? It breaks all rules I can imagine.

Me and other developers are trying to make good apps, but we can’t get into Top New Free list high spot - only because there maybe 15-20 developers take almost all places from 250 with their either shitty, crappy or “cloned” apps. Their only luck is, they have so many apps, that they can generate downloads from them to every new app they launch.

Is this really not against google policy? As it surely is breaking at least “Do not post repetitive content” rule

Hey! Exactly, I think the same. It’s very annoying… Drive me crazy when I think how much money they earn with such shitty apps…
I saw that in my country there is also the same guy like your 2 point. This guy had earlier only flashlight, but now he created 20 more apps which are just plugins to the normal app… Crazy…
But from the other side I see that there is a little less shitty apps like internet boosters etc.

I share you anger and frustration, as do countless developers and even more users.

Unfortunately, Google is really, really strange in the way it handles the Play Store and how it enforces it’s own policies.

Of course these developers are breaking several rules set out by Google, but for whatever reason they haven’t been picked up. Google seldom actively enforces their own policies and often just rely on others to report and flag content.
Even then, when content in serious violation that is brought to their attention can still be ignored and allowed to continue.

Some might say that what they are doing is fair game, since they’re risking being banned etc knowingly. Then again, on this scale, it impacts largely on other developers that try to play by the rules.

I personally blame Google for things like this happening. They do as little as they know they need to in operating most of their business ventures. If they can get away with it, why would they bother otherwise? That’s their ethos.

Google isn’t just to blame in that way though. The Play Store itself is a mess. The fact that so many of these apps sit where they do shows how broken their ranking system is. So much quality content gets buried from this. Pretty bizarre, considering Google’s fame stems from their globally known Search Engine.

Now like I said, users are bothered by all of this too. Here’s a recent thread from reddit, discussing this very subject: Is it just me or is the top Play Store app content getting worse? : Android

On the subject of reddit, they have a place where you can report these types of apps: BadApps

I can see how it is frustrating.

What’s working for me is to publish only in non-English languages. I can easily get in the top 500 in the words game category in France, Canada and Belgium (French speaking countries) by localizing my apps only in French.

English speaking countries are over saturated. Hard to make it to the top.

Hope it helps.

Google runs on the basic if you have money principle like politics do. If you have the money to chart 10 games or apps in the top slots then google seems to give passes. The thing that kills me is the “Care Bears” which is supposed to a kids app has adult ADs , what the hell is that!!??#$% That’s why I always tell people to try and make money away from US store , because unless you have a big budget 5,000 and up you can’t compete. Money rules everything!!

Looks like Google and Apple don’t consider these apps to be low quality or repetitive. Those “Care” games are present in both Google Play and iTunes and some even on Amazon. Considering Apple manually reviews all the apps submitted, it’s a clear indicator they are not breaking the rules by releasing such games.

Even more, looks like “Care Bears Rainbow Playtime” is featured on the Google Play homepage. And we all know how difficult it is to get there.

Considering the above, I believe we should not blame the developer or the marketplaces but try to understand and learn from what the developer is doing. Obviously he is doing something right, something we should all be doing in order to get featured by Google.

I’ve been knocking my head against all the walls inside my house trying to figure out the secret of some low quality apps, how they get so well ranked and get so many downloads.

Is anyone else doing the same thing? If so, how would you feel about joining forces and try to figure out the secret behind the success of low-quality apps that become so successful?

I am thinking about choosing an app for starters, looking into different stats from Appannie, decompiling the apks, looking into code, watching over the market, the reviews, etc. I mean to really understand the secret behind it.

If anyone is interested, let me know and we can organize a skype meeting or similar so we can talk better.

I got the feeling that technique wont payoff in the long run. We get paid when people use the app, not when they download it. We should focus in quality, in improving as a programmer, designer, artist and marketeer.

The best example against that statement is Flappy Bird: you don’t need long user sessions to make money. Sure, such sessions are great but no matter how long they are, if you don’t have downloads then you won’t make any money.

Of course if you dont have users you wont make any money, but if you have millions of users who do not play, you wont make any money either, that was my point.
And I never say you need long user sessions either, thats just 1 of 3 factors of the equation:

Total time of playing = number of downloads* average number of sessions per download* average session length.

Flappy Birds´s average session might be shorter than a solitaire app, but it compensates it with a high average number of sessions per downloads and of course, extremely high downloads count.

Last but not least, is it Flabby Bird a low quality game?

I believe it is.

So bottom line is that we need to focus on creating apps that look good, have longer sessions and get a lot of downloads. Hehe, that is a million dollar idea, isn’t it?

Games like Flappy Bird, Don’t Step on the White Tile, Stickman, etc, don’t have long user sessions but do make a lot of money because they get a lot of downloads.

Games like Word Hero (good job, @mind), Scramble with Friends, Solitaire, Candy Crush have long user sessions and tons of downloads and that means millions of dollars.

They got lots of sessions per users as well. We made a Don´t step on the white tile clone and it has made good money per download ($0.055).

May I have a link to that game?

5 cents per user seems like a lot, can you share some stats? Like active / total downloads, date released, number of users per day, etc?

See in here lies the problem. What you might consider crap many people consider a fun game.Also you need a budget to push your game to the top before people can see the game or app on the device.

Sure, it’s always subjective opinion, in my opinion Flappy bird is great game - I mean great idea. Definitely not “crappy app”. But still it’s matter of perspective, you can discuss about this…

But apps I listed in my 1st post are really crappy apps, and you can look on them from every possible angle, they are just crappy or clones :slight_smile: That’s what I wanted to say, how it’s possible that such crappy app are not banned (as they are breaking several rules) or at least filtered by Google (as they are crappy). They occupy almost whole Top New Free list, and many other Top Lists. Look at their ratings, most of them are belo 4, some even like 3.5 or so, they must have huge uninstall rate - why the hell are they so high in top lists?

“Care Bears Rainbow Playtime” is featured on the Google Play homepage. So the staff has played this game and thought it deserves a featuring.

I do not understand, how can game with 3.7 rating be featured, when 1 milion users thinks it’s (politely said) just an average? Google once again surprised me…Nevermind

What I was trying to said - that guy has has more than 100 games but maybe 20 of them are unique. Do you consider it normal? It’s like if Runkeeper released 30 games with names like “Running in January” “Running in February”…“Running in December” etc - and of course they will take like 20 place in Top List. Than imagine there are many big companies, and they will do the same. I am curious how you can then find some good app when top lists will be full of such “cloned” apps.

Somebody should manually look around Top Lists and throw away repetetive apps from same developers - otherway when this won’t be punished, more and more developer will start making such apps in this “manufacture” style and it will be really disaster.

Even though it’s against the rules to post repetitive content, I am yet to see a game banned for this reason.

I’ve seen games with rating lower than 3.5 getting featured by Google so this isn’t a surprise.

Google decides to feature games based on a few things: quality, uniqueness, income. The most important is the income I suspect. You will rarely find featured games without IAP. It’s understandable, it’s business: why would they feature totally free games (maybe sponsored by ads) when they can feature paid or freemium games that get them more money?

I have a few jigsaw puzzle games released and all of them are better than Jigty Jigsaw Puzzles (game made by Outfit, creators of Talking Tom), far better! However, my games were never featured but Outfit’s game has (for a long time, in a lot of places). So why did that happen? Because my games were free (with ads) while the other game had a lot if IAP: to download new images you had to pay.

I think the best thing you can do regarding your frustration is to understand what they are doing and learn from them. Try and understand why that game got featured, play it, understand the concept and find out the reasons (or at least guess them). You will benefit a lot more from learning than from being frustrated.

And trust me, I am very frustrated, too!

Have you seen any of those stupid Minecraft castle PE apps that are literally just images? I have seen a lot of those before top in personalization and some other categories.

They all have a really bad rating of 3.5 and lower, they are literally just garbage and I have no idea they manage to be placed at the near top…:mad:

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a very long time now.