Google Play Reviews Update and Why it Matters for ASO

Gosh. I hate to be right all the time 😉
But when I saw that Google Play decided to change the way their reviews work and get displayed… I had a small deja-vu . You see in my app store optimization book, I predicted that this was going to be Google next move.
As many of you know, Google Play reviews are now linked directly to your Google Plus account, so if you are going to post a review then your name appears. [Check my video at the end of this post]
In quick sight this may not be a big deal, but it is…. and it’s a strategic from Google to compete even more vs Facebook and provide a Google Account universal experience.
But why is this important for App store optimization?
Well, let see… the days of “buy 50 reviews” for your app in Google Play are gone.
Mainly for 2 reasons….
– It becomes more complicate to provide those services (although crappy service providers will always exist)
– They are not effective from an ASO point.
Mainly in this post/video want to explain why reviews from “fake” accounts are not effective and focus a bit more about how Google play Algorithm will shift regarding reviews and it’s ranking value.
To start, I need to clarify that I believe REVIEWS will have a SERIOUS influence in ranking.
Yes, you may think with apps is all about downloads numbers right?
Well,  not really.
Downloads can be influenced, can be purchased…. reviews… in the way Google is playing the game, in a few years will not be able to be purchased.
Let me explain why.
Like I mentioned in my freaking awesome book 😉  the way Google is moving is to create a trust factor in their own Google accounts.
A trust factor similar to the PAGE RANK factor provided for website.
Now the problem with Page rank is that it can be gamed. It’s easy to be purchased, be shifted, be used to manipulate the algorithm.
But author authority is one of those things you will not be able to fake it. (sorry spammers!)
The authority in the author profile with Google will be defined by
– history
– previous interaction
– number of circles or followers
– links from real sites linking back to your profile.
– co-relationship between content and interaction with other authority users
So why this matters for ASO?
Well real reviews will have more weight than fake reviews…. and in fact reviews from authority users will have more weight than reviews from the new user that has never download apps.
No really. In fact this authority factor already plays a huge role in some algorithms like Amazon or TripAdvisor (I love the way TripAdvisor algorith works).
In TripAdvisor, brand new users can’t influence the ranking of a new hotel. Mainly because they don’t have any weight to do so.
To get weight… you need to earn it.
Well, the same will happen in the App World, making reviews in 2013… even more important than ever.
Enjoy the video

Note: By the way I made this video while my wife was screaming, stop working and help me with the kids. So be kind, make me feel special, share it 😉
Question: ASO Podcast… am I crazy for launching an App store optimization Podcast?