Fighting dishonest app reviews is a never-ending battle.
Google is constantly taking steps to combat a flood of fake reviews and ratings in the Play Store, and today reminded us of everything it's doing to fix the problem. Building on its previously announced initiative of fighting fraudulent app installs, Google is also now even more confident it can identify and remove fake reviews for apps automatically without the help of developers.
In continuing our efforts to combat spammy behavior, we've also improved the ways we identify and remove fake reviews and ratings. With this enhanced capability we are now able to identify and remove more fake reviews and ratings with greater accuracy.
Speaking directly to the developer community who are hurt the most by piles of negative reviews, Google says in "the vast majority of cases" no action will be required by developers — it will handle things all on its own, removing these false reviews and ratings in bulk.
Developers shouldn't rely on shady practices to boost ratings, either.
The announcement comes with an additional warning for developers, though: if you use a third-party marketing agency, you should make sure it isn't using many of the same spam-like or dishonest reviews to try and influence your rating postitively either. Google will continue to fight things on this side as well, as the overall goal is to have the rating for apps be an honest representation of the app, not just make every app rating high.
The hope is that by removing dishonest reviews (on both ends of the spectrum) both consumers and developers can be more confident when viewing an overall rating in the Play Store. If confidence is lost, app installs (and revenue for developers) go down.