Google is changing the way Play Store ratings are being calculated for apps and games. At Google I/O Developer conference, Milena Nikolic, an engineering director heading Google Play Console, explained how Google’s new Play Store rating system would work.
Google is not alone when it comes to revamping its Play Store rating system. A couple of years ago, Apple revamped its app store ratings by rolling out a new feature to developers, letting them decide whether their app’s rating would reset with their most-recent app update.
Apparently, the way Google is changing its Play Store ratings is different than what Apple did two years ago. Google, on the other hand, is bringing these major changes all by themselves. Going forward, Google Play will give more weight to the most recent ratings.
“Many of you told us that you want a rating that reflects a more current version of your app, not what it was years ago — and we agree,” Nikolic said.
“Instead of a lifetime cumulative value, your Google Play Store rating will be recalculated to give more weight to your most recent ratings,” Nikolic added.
Nikolic explained all Android apps on Google Play will display recalculated rating going forward. Although new ratings will not be displayed to end users until August, app developers can preview updated ratings in Play Store Console.
Up until now, Google used to calculate average app rating based on the app’s lifetime cumulative value, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the current state of the app. Google is now looking to change it. However, it remains to be seen how it impacts the presence of a particular app on Google Play.
In addition to updated ratings, Google is making it easier for developers to respond to reviews with a new feature suggested replies. While responding to a user review, developers can choose from suggested replies generated automatically based on the content of the review.
“Every day, developers respond to more than 100,000 reviews in the Play Console, and when they do, we’ve seen that users update their rating by +0.7 stars on average,” Nikolic said.