Google Play is the hub for official Android apps and games, and as such it’s an important venue to get your web app hosted on. You can drive tons of traffic to your content simply by getting your project indexed in the Google Play directory. While it’s not an insurmountable task to get your apps approved for Google Play indexing, there are several important rules and tips to go by. If you’re keeping with the strict guidelines set forth by Google then you should start seeing downloads of your apps within days of listing it in Google Play. Follow these tips to make sure you’re working within the Google Play policy while building and submitting your mobile application.
Know the Rules about Restricted Content
There are many restrictions when it comes to content on the Google Play platform. This includes explicit content, and apps containing violence or hate speech. To make sure you’re not crossing the line with any of your content you should review the Google Play Restricted Content Policy Guide.
Rate Your App Appropriately
While building your app or game you should take note of any mature content or media that may make your app unsuitable for children. This includes battle scenes in games and sensitive topics that may offend younger users. It’s also a good idea to have your app tested by a third-party for such content to get a more objective analysis. Once you’ve reviewed your app you need to give it a rating. By giving your app an accurate rating you will be more likely to get approved for the Google Play platform.
Watch for Copyright Issues
Every image, video and text contained in your app is subject to copyright laws and regulations. You should make sure you own the full rights to distribute all the media contained in your app before submitting it to Google Play. If the Google Play reviewer who looks at your submission has any questions about stock photos or other content, they may ask you for proof of copyright ownership or permissions. All software included in your app is also subject to intellectual property law and policies as defined in the Google Play Developer Policy.
Follow Appropriate User Data Guidelines
Your app should only collect the user data needed to serve its purposes. Collection of unneeded data may be considered a violation of privacy and could get your app rejected by the Google Play platform. Sensitive and private data includes user location, IP addresses, financial information, and contacts and media from the user’s device. Make sure any financial information you collect is stored properly and have a data retention policy of your own on your web hosting server. Developers who can show responsible data collection and retention practices are much more likely to be accepted by Google Play. Be transparent to users and Google alike about which information your app will obtain and store.
Create Secure Connections
Making sure your app is secure will go a long way in keeping with Google Play policy. Anytime your app requests or handle financial information it should use encrypted connections including SSL connection methods. Store sensitive user data on a secure server with valid security certificates and make sure you’re keeping your server software up to date. This will minimize any risk of data leaks or breaching or financial information you may collect from users. Make sure your web hosting is capable of SSL and other important security protocols before submitting your application.
Every app being considered for submission to Google Play should be thoroughly tested for bugs and vulnerabilities. Having a bug that crashes your app can create logs and errors on mobile devices that would disqualify you from being hosted by Google Play. Hiring a bug tester for your app or using bug-testing software such as Sifter or SpiraTest can help ensure you’re conforming to the Google Play software policy. Bugs can also create security issues within your app, so it’s doubly important to track and eliminate any errors as they arise.
Review your Advertising
The ads on your app need to conform to the Google Play policies in the same way your original content does. Make sure you are reviewing each ad submitted to your app for inappropriate content or malicious advertising practices. Hosting poorly formatted ads can also have a negative impact on your app so make sure that everything is displaying properly on your advertising screens. Create a rule list for advertisers or use a trusted advertising service to host the ads on your app or mobile game.
Conforming to the Google Play policy will help increase your apps odds of being accepted for hosting and indexing by the platform. Once you’ve gotten accepted you still need to make sure any version updates or developments to your app conform to these same rules. Follow these tips during the development process and review everything before submitting your app to ensure a simple acceptance and indexing process.