Top App Rejection Reasons on the Google Play Store

Author:

Mohit Sharma

20 June, 2024

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Submitting an app to the Google Play Store requires careful adherence to Google’s policies and guidelines. Understanding the common app rejection reasons, and account deactivation or suspension, things can help developers avoid pitfalls and successfully publish their apps. Here are some key factors and solutions to ensure your app meets Google Play's standards.

Google App Rejection Reasons

Malicious Behaviour

Apps containing malware, spyware, or engaging in deceptive practices are strictly prohibited on the Google Play Store. Such behaviour can compromise user security and privacy, leading to severe repercussions including app rejection, account suspension, and legal actions.

Transparency in Functionality

  • Justify permissions and maintain an accessible privacy policy.
  • Provide accurate app descriptions and notify users of significant updates.
  • Adhere to Google Play guidelines and follow ethical development practices.
  • Document every data transfer that happens between your app and the third-party platform in your policies.

Note: We are using licensed and well-maintained libraries and using proper code sanitizations to avoid security vulnerabilities and ensure stability.

Improper Monetization Practices

Apps using deceptive or disruptive ads, or promoting other apps in a misleading manner, can be rejected by Google Play. Such practices undermine user trust and violate Google’s advertising policies.

Follow Google’s Guidelines

  • Adhere to Google’s ad placement and behaviour policies using Google ads mobs.
  • Place banner ads in non-intrusive areas and display interstitial ads at natural transition points.
  • Use native and rewarded ads to enhance the user experience.

Avoid Intrusive Ads

  • Limit ad frequency to avoid overwhelming users or web view ads.
  • Ensure ads load quickly and do not cause performance issues.
  • Allow users to view ads and provide options to mute video ads voluntarily.
  • Apps that involve gambling or handle user money must adhere to strict guidelines. If the terms and conditions or mechanisms for handling user money are not clearly defined or transparent, the app can be rejected or suspended.

Note: Use Google AdMob for in-app ads instead of using WebView or other ad platforms to meet Google Play guidelines and improve ad performance.

Inappropriate Content

Apps that promote violence, hate speech, harassment, or sexually explicit material are not allowed on the Google Play Store. Such content can lead to app rejection, user dissatisfaction, and potential legal issues.

Review Google Play’s Content Policies

  • Understand and regularly review Google Play’s content guidelines.
  • Provide training for the development team on these policies.

Implement a Content Moderation System

  • Use AI-driven tools like Google’s Perspective API to detect inappropriate content.
  • Employ keyword filters and manual reviewers to oversee content.
  • Enable community reporting for users to flag inappropriate content.

Ensure User-Generated Content Adheres to Guidelines

  • Implement pre-upload checks and approval systems for high-risk content.
  • Monitor content in real time and create feedback loops for users about content removals.
  • Educate users on community standards and encourage positive contributions.

Unauthorized Data Collection

Collecting user data without permission or failing to disclose data collection practices can lead to app rejection and legal issues. Transparency and consent are crucial for maintaining user trust and complying with regulations.

Clear Data Disclosure

  • Create a comprehensive privacy policy detailing what data is collected, why it’s collected, and how it’s used Eg. email, phone number, location etc. Ensure easy access to this policy within the app and on the Google Play Store listing.

Explicit User Consent

  • Implement clear opt-in mechanisms where users must actively agree to data collection before it occurs. Avoid pre-selected options or ambiguous language.

Robust Security Measures

  • Utilize encryption methods for data transfers. Implement secure storage solutions and strict access controls to protect user information from unauthorised access.

Violations of Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA)

Any breach of the agreement that developers accept when publishing apps on Google Play can lead to app rejection, account suspension, or removal from the platform. It includes infringements related to intellectual property rights, content policies, and other contractual obligations.

Thorough Understanding

  • Carefully read and understand all sections of the DDA to ensure compliance with Google Play's requirements and policies.

Compliance Assurance

  • Regularly review your app's content, features, and operations to align with the latest DDA updates. This includes adhering to guidelines on intellectual property, app content, advertising practices, and user data handling.

Prompt Adjustments

  • Respond promptly to any updates or notifications from Google Play regarding changes to the DDA. Make necessary adjustments to your app to remain in compliance with the updated terms.

Multiple Account Abuse

Creating multiple developer accounts to circumvent Google Play policies is prohibited. This practice undermines platform integrity and can lead to account suspension or app removal.

Single Verified Account:

  • Use a single, verified developer account for all app submissions to consolidate management and adhere to Google Play’s policies effectively.

Proactive Monitoring and Compliance:

  • Monitor your developer account consistently for policy compliance and promptly address any identified issues or violations.
  • Maintain thorough documentation of app submissions and communications with Google Play to support transparency and accountability.

App Presentation Issues

An app icon serves as the first visual impression and a poorly designed or unprofessional icon can deter potential users and lead to rejection if it doesn't meet Google Play's format and size guidelines. Descriptions that are inaccurate, or incomplete can mislead users, resulting in negative reviews. Additionally, insufficient or low-quality screenshots and videos leave users uncertain about the app’s functionality, reducing engagement and increasing uninstall rates.

Follow the rules while uploading an app

  • Invest in a professional designer for a high-quality, compliant app icon.
  • Write clear, detailed descriptions, disclosing all relevant information such as app functionality, features and also if they follow any in-app purchase.
  • Use high-resolution screenshots that comprehensively cover the app’s features.

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Wrapped Up

Developers must carefully navigate Google Play Store's policies to avoid common App Rejection Reasons such as malicious behavior, improper monetization, inappropriate content, unauthorized data collection, and violations of the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA). By prioritizing transparency, adhering to guidelines, and implementing robust security measures, apps can meet Google Play's standards and achieve successful publication.

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