App developers logging on to the Google Play Developer Console received a notification alerting them to longer than average review times. App developers should take this delay into account when launching new apps or updates, as the review process can now take a week or longer.
What’s Changing & What’s Impacted
According to the Google Play Developer Console, app review times will take longer as a result of adjusted work schedules. The announcement states that reviews can now take “seven days or longer,” so the times may vary.
This change can impact several aspects of app development and App Store Optimization. Developers may have to wait longer to launch new deployments, which could mean updates designed to fix bugs or add new features will be delayed.
Likewise, updating Play Store listings may take extra time. This can impact App Store Optimization, as developers should launch consistent updates every 30-45 days to refresh keyword information. The delayed updates could cause apps to fall behind on their metadata updates, causing their keyword rankings and indexation to stagnate.
Even app experiments can be impacted by this delay. Experiments may not go live while an app is in review, as observed after Google Play previously adjusted the review time. The extra wait time can cause a delay in launching updates and testing new iterations.
What Developers Should Do
In order to accommodate this increased time frame, developers should plan out their updates in advance. If an app or mobile game has a seasonal update planned, such as an anniversary event or holiday sale, it should provide itself with a buffer time between submission and the planned release. This will ensure that the Google Play team has time to fully review the app.
It’s important to note that Timed Publishing is still an option. Developers can select a specific date and time for an update to go live when they submit the app. If the app is approved before that time, it will launch as scheduled.
This is not the first time Google Play has extended the time it takes for apps to be approved. The approval process changed in 2019 to make them take at least three extra days, or seven in exceptional cases. The “exceptional cases” were primarily apps targeting children, as part of Google’s efforts to make the Play Store safer.
In this case, the 7+ day delay is extending to all apps. Developers should take note and prepare their updates and new apps to ensure they’ll still launch on their anticipated release dates and to prevent their App Store Optimization from falling behind.
Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.