Halloween, 2016, Google drops some scary news: they have revamped how they rank apps on Google Play. More specifically, their new detection system is designed to be better at shady development and marketing practices: From for-pay downloads (either from install bots or User Farms) to Fake reviews. Google is even going after apps that attempt to elicit positive reviews via offers or discounts. When it comes down to it, this is good news for the legitimate app owner. Apps that practice deceitful marketing techniques such as those outline above get incorrectly ranked on the Google Play Charts, taking the place of legitimate apps. And Google isn’t trying to ban marketing in general – it’s actually trying to make the life of the marketer simpler. But what if you contract out your app marketing services to a third party? We all want to believe that ever y company out there is as above board and honest as SDI, but the sad truth is that many tech marketers aren’t. Now is the time to make real sure that you’re in bed with the right team, and now is the time you can easily check: did your Android app ranking all of a sudden plummet? That could be a sign (though don’t jump to conclusions – there could be other reasons!). This isn’t an argument to conduct app marketing activities yourself. After all, we are app development and marketing company, so that would be counter productive! Plus, think about it: if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you probably don’t want to build the store yourself. Instead, you hire someone to do it for you. App marketing strategies may seem simple on the outside, but the truth is that it may be the most complex part of a successful app campaign. An app marketer needs to know: • Basic coding; Marketers have to know how to make minor changes; proper marketing requires iterative testing cycles. Marketers can’t be contacting developers constantly, so they need to have basic coding skills. And this doesn’t even begin to cover Content Optimization for SEO and ASO. • Design; Marketing is always eyes-first. In other words, a good design is key to a successful marketing strategy. Without good design, no amount of marketing in other areas will be successful. • Data Scientists; App marketing requires extensive knowledge of modern analytics. Those iterative testing cycles mentioned above are based off of data. Marketers need to know how to use data tools and how to read reports. But most importantly, they need to know how to design an experiment. Digital marketing requires extensive monitoring and testing, so an app marketer by extension needs to know ways of testing, including creating their own testing environments. These points are true for any app (or website, or software) and are essential to a successful app marketing strategy. Notice that you will not find “writing comments” or “Download Bots” or any other shady tricks. A good app marketing team works constantly on your behalf – including insisting upon legitimate strategies. Fraudulent practices result in your app being banned and our Developer’s License being revoked. So now you know how to vet a marketing partner. But there are plenty of ways to get ranked on the Google Play Store. HOWEVER, you’re going to have to check back later this week for Part 2 of this post, where we will cover ways to improve your ranking on both Google Play as opposed to Apple’s App Store (yep, they do require different approaches!). Don’t want to wait? Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 now to talk to our marketing team. You can also reach us by email!