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Drastic drop in Google Play downloads rocks indie devs after discovery algorithm fiasco

Devs started noticing the abnormal behaviour on Thursday, June 21st
Drastic drop in Google Play downloads rocks indie devs after discovery algorithm fiasco
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A plethora of indie developers have been hit with a drastic drop in installs on Google Play following recent algorithm changes.

Problems started emerging on Thursday June 21st, with a host of devs airing concern on various forums from Unity to Discord. Problems persisted to Monday morning with many of them reporting drops of up to 90 per cent in organic traffic.

One post on the Unity forums started by a user called AxPetre commented that their install rate had “decreased from a sustained average of around 12,000/day, to just 5000/day, despite the fact that the game's search ranking in the store hasn't changed at all”.

Another user called Neufoctobre replied: “Same here, 20.000 daily download drop down to 7.000 yesterday and probably 3.000 today.”

“Glad to know it happened to a lot of people and makes me hope Google are running some tests and changes on the search algorithm.

“I'm using mobile action and all my keywords rankings and category rankings are almost the same, so this is very strange. But my revenue dropped down too so the problem is not only about stats.”

Change in the rhythm

Developers have seemingly eliminated a number of reasons for the dip, which include inaccurate installs reports, summer exams and the FIFA World Cup.

However, what plenty are currently pointing to is an inconsistency between an app’s category, description and content with the apps shown on the similar apps panel.

According to Android Police, the fallout is a result of a bug that is interfering with how apps can verify paid licenses.

The bug has since been acknowledged by a Google employee who said the problem is under investigation. A fix has yet to arrive.