Play Store Ratings to Focus More on Recent Reviews
Play Store reviews are instrumental in letting users know about the pros and cons of an application. Considering that there are literally millions of apps that claim to do the same thing, reviews are often helpful in letting users choose an app that suits their needs. But, there have been several instances of developers tampering with their (and competitors') reviews to gain an undue advantage. As of today, Play Store app ratings will change. Newer app ratings will weigh more than older ones.
The new system is beneficial in the sense that it'll help users look the most recent experiences others have had with the app. Very often, a 'top-rated' review is for an older version of the app, and even though the Play Store explicitly mentions it, not everyone pays heed to it.
It'll be interesting to see how the new system deals with “review bombs”. There are existing measures in place that help deal with the problem. As part of this change, Google will also highlight reviews to which it thinks developers should reply. Replying to negative reviews causes users to add an average of 0.7 stars to their reviews, says Google.
On the flip side, early versions of many apps are often unpolished and laden with bugs. Naturally, they'll be flooded with one-star reviews at that time. But as the app gets better, some of the bugs present in the earlier version may be ironed out in subsequent builds. An older negative review that stays on top will mislead new users about the true nature of the app, prompting them to look at alternatives. The revamped review scores will be public on the Play Store in August.
Source: Android Police