Google security changes

Google has announced it's rolling out a new detection and filtering system on the Play Store to crack down on those developers who use illegitimate means to boost their apps' rankings in the store's top charts.

This will affect apps that use methods like fraudulent installs, fake reviews, and incentivized ratings, the company noted.

TechRadar reported that while Google already had technology it used to detect these sorts of manipulation attempts, the new system is a step forward in terms of its accuracy.

When it detects an app that has moved up the charts through ill-gotten means, the system will filter it. In addition, developers who continue to engage in these practices will have their apps taken down from Google Play.

Writing on the Android Developers blog, Google Search Quality Analyst Kazushi Nagayama and Product Manager Andrew Ahn said developers sometimes use fraudulent installs, fake reviews, and incentivized ratings to manipulate the placement of their apps in the store. The improved detection and filtering systems are intended to cut down on that.

"If an install is conducted with the intention to manipulate an app's placement on Google Play, our systems will detect and filter it," Nagayama and Ahn wrote. "Furthermore, developers who continue to exhibit such behaviors could have their apps taken down from Google Play."

They added that this type of manipulation violates the Google Play developer policy and harms other developers by hindering their changes of being discovered or recommended.