ASO 101: Tough Luck, Google Play Can Now Detect Incentivised Reviews

In the mobile World, it is bad form to offer your customers hard incentives to write you reviews. 

This can be a form of money, app items, codes, or anything else of tangible value.

It’s a conflict of interest because user reviews are most valuable when they are honest and unbiased. Offering or accepting money, products, or services to write reviews for an app or to write negative reviews about a competitor is a NO NO.

So, if you’re an app owner, don’t set up review campaigns anymore to get positive reviews written for your app, or to write negative reviews to your competitors.

So what to do now?

To encourage reviews for your app: Politely remind your customers to leave feedback. Simply reminding that it’s quick and easy to leave feedback on the app store can help your app stand out from apps with fewer reviews.

After flip-flopping for too long, Google’s’ not only OK with your asking customers / clients directly for reviews, but also encourages you to ask or politely request for it. It’s just that you can’t butter your reviewers’ bread.

Encouraging reviews for apps is really simple on the surface. But to do it effectively, in a tough industry, and in a way that isn’t offensive, and to adapt to Google Play store’s changes…well, you start peeling an onion.

I have found that simply asking for a review nicely and politely can be enough. Better still, a simple customer service oriented email after a purchase is complete and where the customer responds with glowing praise a simple, heartfelt request for a review works wonders.

“Wow, that’s awesome, so glad that you are happy with our app. I wonder if we could ask a small favour? We are a small app company and app reviews really help demonstrate the level of service we pride ourselves in. If you had a few spare time and could leave us some feedback, we would really appreciate it.”

We all need to avoid the temptation to overcomplicate these things and follow the path of least resistance!

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