Google updated its algorithm and some apps aren’t appearing in the search results for Google Play. It’s happening for new apps with only a few downloads as well as for apps that have a lot of users (100k+ downloads). At the moment, Google hasn’t said anything about what’s going on. So we’re giving  an update here along with some solutions for your apps.

Why indexing on Google Play is important

Google Play lets users search for popular, pertinent apps for their Android phone. It’s an indispensable step to make sure that new users come across your app according to given keywords.

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For the past few months, Google has been trying to “clean up” and secure its store as much as possible, by reinforcing its referencing system. The platform has lengthened the time it takes to submit an app, taking more time to analyze them, which now means counting on about 7 days before validation when before it was 1-2 days.

Today it’s a referencing problem (bug?) that Google is faced with, as it’s clear that numerous apps never appear in search results. Usually it takes a few days for an app to propagate through the system  and begin to appear in search results. But now your app is properly published, but still impossible to find! Numerous apps are affected, and it’s a giant headache for developers…

What can I do to fix it for my app?

Google hasn’t issued any official statements, and the info we’ve been able to gather comes from our own experiences and that of other specialized sites. So while we’re all waiting for something from Google, what can you do?

Remember that you have a URL for your app on Google Play. Even if your app isn’t appearing in the search results, it still has its page and you can use the URL directly in your acquisition campaigns targeting new users. The URL is found in your Google Play dashboard, by clicking on the button SEE ON GOOGLE PLAY.

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By the way, we recommend following natural referencing techniques. We’d definitely recommend reading the article Tips for App Store Optimization in 2020 where you’ll learn that to be properly indexed, a keyword has to be included between 2-5 times in the Google Play description, or once in either the title of the app or its short description.

Nonetheless, do note that nothing can replace having a good download and install rate if you want your app to move higher up in the search results. It’s a bit of a “snake that eats its own tail” situation…

Another option is to purchase Adwords, but the obvious downside is the cost. But it’s still the solution that it seems Google is moving toward with all of its changes!