Google wants your help to make Play Store ratings and reviews more reliable

Google wants your help to make Play Store ratings and reviews more reliable
Google’s Android-dedicated Play Store is estimated to be home for around 2.6 million apps, and while there’s definitely a lot to like about its rapid growth over the years, something so big is bound to have its fair share of problems as well.

One issue Google has been taking an active stand against is that of fake and misleading reviews, which often make it hard to distinguish the actual cream of the Play Store crop from artificially inflated Android apps and games.

To understand just how hard it can be to deal with this massive plague, the search giant says “millions” of reviews and ratings were detected and removed from Google Play, while “thousands” of bad apps were identified due to suspicious reviews and rating activities on them... in a single recent week.

Naturally, the detection process is gradually turning automated, currently combining “human intelligence” with machine learning to enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews. The human aspect of this filtering operation involves “skilled reviewers” that are “regularly” asked to verify AI-made decisions in order to confirm their reliability and accuracy.

It goes without saying that both human and machine error can occasionally come into play, which is why Google wants developers and users to play their part in making the Play Store a cleaner, safer, more trustworthy place.

All you need to do is make sure your app ratings and reviews are fair, unbiased, not financially motivated in any way, as well as civil and intelligible. Sounds pretty easy in theory, but in reality, bad practices like incentivizing ratings with discounts and in-app items or outright buying fake ratings will probably not go away anytime soon. Not completely, anyway.

Of course, just because a developer offers you free stuff in exchange for a 5-star rating, it doesn't mean you need to accept that “bribe.” To make sure you’re not part of the problem, remember that you can easily mark suspicious reviews as “Spam.”

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