If you are an Android user who regularly frequents the Google Play Store, you may be wondering about one thing. Are there fake reviews on the Google Play Store? We are here with answers.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The Google Play Store does have a problem when it comes to fake reviews, with the company deleting millions of them back in 2018.
  • Since then, the company has developed numerous algorithms and systems to spot fakes and delete them.
  • To find fake reviews on your own, take some time to thoroughly read the review, looking for any copy that feels off.

What is the Google Play Store?

Much like the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store is a one-stop shop where Android users can purchase apps and games for their phones, tablets, and Chrome computers. All of these apps and games can be rated by customers, which can lead to issues regarding trust.

Are There Fake Reviews on the Google Play Store?

There are, though the current number remains unknown. Google has instituted multiple policies and developed numerous algorithms to find and delete fake reviews from the Play Store, but no system is perfect. How many are there? In 2018, Google developed a system to scan reviews to identify fakes and delete them. The system deleted millions of reviews in just one day. Since 2018, the company has gotten better at spotting fake reviews before they do lots of damage, but it is still a problem. The same problem has been seen with the fake reviews on eBay.

Insider Tip

Since 2018, the company has gotten better at spotting fake reviews before they do lots of damage, but it is still a problem.

How to Spot Fake Reviews on the Google Play Store

Here are some ways you can root out fake reviews on the Google Play Store.

Install Fakespot or a Similar App

There are actually apps available on the Google Play Store that work to sniff out fake reviews. One such app is called Fakespot and, as the name suggests, it is primarily for spotting fakes. This app can be used on the Play Store itself, or on a variety of e-commerce sites, such as eBay and Amazon. Reviews for this app are generally positive, though installing and using it will take up some of your valuable time. At least it is free.

Thoroughly Read the Reviews

You should take some time out to read the reviews thoroughly, looking for anything that feels “off.” Many fake reviews are written by bots, after all, and these algorithms do not have the best grasp on the nuances of the English language. To that end, some fake reviews are written in content farms located in other countries. These reviews will be written by folks who do not consider English as their primary language. In other words, if it does not feel real to you, it could be a fake review. But with medical journals, you may not know a fake, like with the falsified peer reviews on Elsevier.

Warning

Google has instituted multiple policies and developed numerous algorithms to find and delete fake reviews from the Play Store, but no system is perfect.

F.A.Q.

How do you find out which apps have paid fake reviews?

This can be difficult, though there is something of a formula to think about. The rating/install ratio should not exceed 1–4% and the written reviews/total ratings ratio shouldn’t exceed 1–8%. This ratio changes with higher installs, however.


What makes a good app?

A good app offers a good user experience to the consumer at a fair price with minimal shady money-grabbing practices thrown in.


Can I report a fake review to Google?

Yes, the Google Play Store has multiple avenues by which consumers can report suspected fake reviews.



STAT: In a study of apps that have been flagged for fake reviews, games represented 41% of those singled out. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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