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 A few weeks ago, Google announced some changes to metadata for mobile apps and games on Google Play. These changes will take place in the second half of 2021, and their purpose will be to improve the quality of browsing new applications on Google Play.

The length of app or mobile game titles in Google Play will be shortened to 30 characters (same as in the App Store). Currently, app developers can use 50 characters for the app name and keywords.

Limiting the number of characters may get in the way of search rankings for many applications and games, as a large number of applications will have to remove keywords and leave only the application name. Developers of new mobile games will have to think twice before the final game name selection. Obviously, Google Play intends to bet on browsing traffic rather than search traffic.

                           Acceptable metadata (source

It will be forbidden to use selected keywords in the icon, title or developer name that may mislead the user, such as apps with icons, which indicate, for example, app rank or promotion. App titles in Google Play Console will not allow words like: free, best, ad free, #1 etc.

On top of that, it will not be possible to use emojis and capital letters in the title and developer name. If the developers do not keep up with the upcoming changes, they may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Unacceptable metadata (source

Unacceptable metadata (source

Unacceptable metadata (source

In the coming months, Google Play will also focus on improving the quality of graphic materials uploaded by developers. Developers will have to demonstrate the gameplay and functionalities in a given application on screenshots and promotional videos. You won’t be able to use keywords like free or best in the screenshots.

Looking at the changes in App Store Optimization for iOS 15, it can be said that Google is actually not making any radical changes to the metadata.

Will the 30-character title restriction play out positively on the number of downloads from Google Play search results? I don’t think so. But we’ll have to wait a few more months for the first results.

ARPU Brothers Founder, App marketing agency for mobile apps and games

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