Google has announced the nominees for the Google Play Awards, which recognizes the top apps and games for Android devices. The winners will be announced just before Google I/O 2019, set to be held May 7-9. Being nominated itself is an honor, but developers can utilize App Store Optimization best practices to increase their chances of getting noticed, while nominees can utilize their status for their own ASO.
How Apps are Nominated
“The nominees were selected by various teams across Google, and meet criteria thresholds covering high star rating, Android vitals, and have had a launch or major update since April 2018.”
Announcements from previous years mentioned additional criteria, such as “technical performance and freshness.” As such, apps that want to be nominated need to be recently updated, perform well and have high ratings. While the performance and timeliness depend on the app’s release, App Store Optimization can still help an app stand out to Google’s teams and gather the conversions and reviews it needs for consideration.
How ASO Helps
With a proper ASO strategy, an app can stand out in the Google Play Store and garner the high ratings and that can bring it up for consideration for nomination.
This begins with visibility – utilizing App Store Optimization strategies that focus on building keyword relevance and ranking can help an app appear in searches before relevant users. An optimized set of creatives, along with a well-written description, can improve conversions and encourage the users to install the app.
When users begin leaving ratings and reviews, ASO best practices encourage reputation management to cultivate user trust and potentially turn negative reviews into positive opportunities. Addressing a user’s concern could convince them to amend a negative review, which would improve the overall star rating. As the app’s rating is considered for its nomination, bringing in new users who will leave reviews and working to make sure the reviews are positive can help improve an app’s odds of being considered or nominated.
While there is no guarantee for nomination, App Store Optimization can certainly help. Even if an app is not nominated, ASO can improve its performance in the Play Store and convert new users.
Should an app be nominated or win the Google Play Awards, this can also be utilized for ASO. Nominated apps are showcased on Google Play, which will improve their impressions in the same way that being featured on the App Store or Play Store does. The new traffic can help improve its keyword indexations and category rankings, giving the apps a boost in the store that can be maintained after the awards are announced when their pages utilize proper ASO strategies.
Apps can also call out their nominations or awards in their descriptions. This demonstrates to users that they are highly-regarded and trusted by the store, which can have a positive impact on conversions. While ASO can help improve an app’s chances of being considered for nomination, being nominated can also have a positive impact on the app’s optimization.
The Google Play Awards have nine categories, with five nominees per category. The categories and their nominated apps are:
Standout Well Being
- Kinedu by Kinedu
- My Oasis by Buff Studio Co.,Ltd.
- Shine by Shine, Inc.
- SleepTown by Seekrtech
- Woebot by Woebot Labs
Best Accessibility Experience
- Envision AI by Envision Technologies BV
- guiaderodas accessibility by guiaderodas
- Race Together! By digiXMAS
- TintVision by EM-Creations
- WheeLog! By PADM
Best Social Impact
- Bury me, my Love by Dear Villagers
- Plantix by PEAT GmbH
- Reblood by PT Gaya Hidup Sehat
- Think!Think! By Hanamaru Lab
- Wisdo by Wisdo LTD.
Most Beautiful Game
- Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft SE
- Badland Brawl by Frogmind
- Chuchel by Amanita Design
- Gorogoa by Annapurna Interactive
- Shadowgun Legends by MADFINGER Games
Best Living Room Experience
- Cube Escape: Paradox by Rusty Lake
- Firework by Loop Now Technologies, Inc.
- Scripts by Language Drops
- Tick Tock by Other Tales Interactive
- Wysker by wysker GmbH
Standout Build for Billions Experience
- Canva by Canva
- Cookpad by Cookpad Inc (UK)
- Garena Free Fire by GARENA INTERNATIONAL I PRIVATE LIMITED
- PicsArt Photo Studio by PicsArt
- Viki by Viki, Inc
Best Breakthrough App
- Dave by Dave, Inc
- Khan Academy Kids by Khan Academy
- Notion by Notion Labs, Inc.
- Slowly by Slowly Communications Ltd.
- Tasty by BuzzFeed
Best Breakthrough Game
- Garena Free Fire by GARENA INTERNATIONAL I PRIVATE LIMITED
- Old School RuneScape by Jagex Games Studio
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City, Inc.
- MARVEL Strike Force by FoxNext Games
- Star Trek™ Fleet Command by Scopely
Most of these apps are well-optimized, featuring creatives that are designed to engage users and convey information about the app and descriptions that are well-written while properly utilizing keywords.
For instance, “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” features a video and full set of screenshots, each one quickly calling out an aspect of the game. The description includes bullet lists for its features, which are easy to read and understand at a glance. “Tubi,” similarly, uses keywords throughout its description like “Watch HD movies” and “free video streaming” to improve its indexation and ranking for those terms. The improved visibility helped contribute to the app’s success.
The winners will be announced Monday, May 6th, right before Google I/O. The I/O event will include a keynote and several presentations on upcoming advancements for Android devices and app technology. The 2018 event introduced Android P, Google Assistant, Android App Bundles and advancements in Instant Apps and Augmented Reality that continue to enhance apps.
When Google I/O 2019 concludes, there will undoubtedly be new announcements app developers can look forward to. When that happens, Gummicube will be ready to let you know how these changes can help you optimize your app and compete for the 2020 awards.
Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.