Why block Google Play developers

    The main idea of ​​the article is to collect in one place as many real precedents for blocking applications and developer accounts. For each case, analyze in detail the causes and consequences.

    The topic is very serious. If Google blocks you once, there will be no way back. Apparently, the relationship of the account with your name, IP, Mac address and other personal data is tracked. Spoil your relationship with Google once - then never get washed away .

    In order not to lose the account registered personally on you - you need to follow certain principles. Let's try to bring them out together.

    I will say right away - personally, my account and applications have not yet been blocked. But, having read articles about blocking other users, I began to fear. Ask questions in the forums. And the fears were not in vain.

    If you or your friends have had cases of blocking applications / accounts - you can describe them in the comments or in a personal message - I will add them to the list with pleasure. The more cases, the more useful the article. And try to specify as much information, links and screenshots as possible.



    The bottom line: The developer created a small game, in the name of which he used the word Tetris. This word is a registered trademark for which you have to pay. In principle, this is logical, since quite a lot of users clog the word “tetris” in Google Play and the application immediately receives a lot of visits and installations. The application is blocked.
    Reason for blocking: Copyright violation (use of the word Tetris)
    Proof: http://javatalks.ru/topics/42335
    Outcome: Successful. The developer reloaded the same application with a different name . The account remained intact, the application is still working.

    Guess the anime

    The bottom line: The developer wrote an application in which there are pictures of characters for which he does not own copyright. The application is blocked.
    Reason for blocking: Copyright infringement (Using images from anime)
    Proof: http://toster.ru/q/101383 (answer from danil031997)
    Result: I had to register a new bank card, new account, etc. The user decided not to upload old projects anywhere else.

    Black SEO

    The bottom line: Some account contained about 20 applications (total number of downloads ~ 500k). They were crammed with unevenly distributed keywords. After ~ 7 warnings from Google, the developer account was banned.
    Reason for blocking: Search spam
    Proof: http://toster.ru/q/55160
    Result: A new account was registered, but it was banned due to the loading of old applications into it.

    Erotic content

    The bottom line: The developer created a media player for android. Everything would be fine, but among his screenshots on the github was erotic content . At the time of the publication of that article, he really was there, I checked. The application is blocked.
    Reason for blocking: Erotic content
    Proof: http://habrahabr.ru/company/freeamp/blog/230293
    Summary: Do not associate your application with erotic content. Carefully control every image that you upload anywhere on the Internet. Especially on github.

    Life ban

    The bottom line: The developer is a US citizen, lives in San Francisco. Judging by his post, he switched from iOS to android, invested quite a lot of money in the latter, and then created a series of harmless applications for his son. These applications captured a certain YouTube channel, allowing you to view only its video. Application headers contained channel names, some of which were quite popular. A total of 10 such applications were created. Two of them blocked.
    Reason for blocking: Search spam
    Proof: https://medium.com/@sgehrman/banned-for-life-c62f2404f66
    Result:After blocking, the user tried to write in support, but in response, his account was banned for life. Please note - he is a US citizen. I initially thought that Google only harshly bans only ours. It turned out that justice still exists.

    Flappy flapper

    The bottom line: The developer made a flappy bird clone and named it Flappy Flapper. It appeared in the store, but then it was transferred to a suspended state. And after trying to reload the same application under a different name - both were blocked.
    Reason for blocking: Search spam
    Proof: http://habrahabr.ru/post/231009/#comment_7813421
    Result: Successful. Developer account has not been deleted.

    Ad-Sense Clicks

    The bottom line: The developer cheated on clicks. The system was able to determine this and blocked the account on Ad-Sense.
    Reason for blocking: Cheat
    Proof: http://habrahabr.ru/post/231009/#comment_7813399

    Call spy

    The bottom line: The developer wrote an application that was engaged in recording telephone conversations. The first version was invisible in the process. Banned. The second version already had a permanent icon in the notification area. In addition, the application did not require the Internet and was free, had about 700K installations and a rating of 4.5+.
    Reason for blocking: Spyware
    Proof: http://habrahabr.ru/post/231009/#comment_7813583
    Bottom line: Account was permanently closed for spyware distribution. The appeal was inconclusive. And I must admit - the applications containing spy in the name are full. Including for recording conversations.

    Keywords in description

    The bottom line: The developer, seeing in a foreign application an explicitly added list of keywords in the description, decided to do the same for his application. Immediately received a warning about spam and 7 days to fix it.
    Reason for blocking: Search spam
    Proof: http://habrahabr.ru/post/231009/#comment_7813751
    Result: Removed keywords. Everything worked out. By the way, support did not answer the question why other applications do not ban, and specifically it was banned.

    Movies online. Premieres

    The bottom line: The developers created an application for watching movies online and posted on Google Play. There he was repeatedly banned and it came to an automatic ban.
    Reason for blocking: Copyright violation (pirated content - takes films from the VKontakte group)
    Proof: http://w3bsit3-dns.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=533636&st=240#entry32678043
    Summary: The application is not published, despite the fact that each time a new developer, a new map, VPN. New logo, name, screenshots, description, apk change package, obfuscation. They expressed the idea of ​​adding the ability for the user to choose the content source himself, not to embed it in the application. The idea is good by the way, but so far the developers have not applied it.

    Adding a list of innovations to the application

    The bottom line: The developer (Android and iOS) created some social application commissioned by the Russian government in one of the areas, and for two platforms. Theme of the application: inform the authorities about the problem (housing, public health, roads, etc.). Then the developer updated the application. A special text has been added to the innovation entry field with a description of the changes. A warning appeared, the developer fixed everything. But after a 7-day warning on Google Play, the application was deleted, while on the AppStore this was normal.
    Reason for blocking: keyword stuffing
    Proof: I can not provide (personal letter from maxtreamal@gmail.com ).
    Total:The letters with a request to explain the reason for the ban were answered that the reason is final and is not subject to appeal. They also said that upon repeated appeal the entire account will be deleted. In this case, it is very critical, since it belongs to the government and contains several more social applications from other developers. I had to reload with another package name. Lost the average score of 4.7 points, about 700 users and about 50 reviews. Apparently, the list of changes was too long. It says that the description should be short and clear. Apparently this also applies to changes.
    List of changes
    - Added support for the new classifier;

    - the “Region” field has been added to the user profile;

    - improved work with images;

    - accelerated loading of a new call to the server;

    - improved performance

    Google Play algorithm

    There are two types of moderation - manual and automatic. Apparently, if the name and description of the application does not contain popular keywords, it goes through automatic moderation. So it was with my applications - they appeared 2-3 hours after loading the APK.

    If the application has not passed automatic moderation, you can wait a few days for manual.

    And there is such a situation - when the application was paused, removed from the store, but everything is in order in the developer console. Apparently he was hung up until the moment the moderators get to work. If you are faced with this situation, some developers recommend deleting all information about the application as soon as possible.

    Rules and Tips

    • Be careful when contacting Google tech support. Instead of unblocking the application, they can block an entire account because of a single letter.
    • Do not try to reload the application under a different name
    • If you have similar applications (similar to the one that was blocked) - remove them immediately, even if they cost you a lot of work or money. You will save your priceless account, the loss of which is incorrigible.
    • Use only content that you own the copyright to. Do not use other people's pictures, videos or sounds, even if your application will contribute to the development of the author of this content.
    • Be especially careful about the title of your application. Keep away from sin - do not add the names of companies or any popular products there.
    • Be careful with tags. In general, much of the above can be generalized as follows - do not try to cheat the application cheatfully through a Google search . If you indicate popular keywords in the name, tags, or elsewhere, many people will find your application, but Google will not like it.
    • For your personal projects - find an alternative to Google play. There are plenty of them . You are unlikely to be banned there. And at the worst — no one is stopping you from posting the APK on your personal website or blog.
    • A very interesting thought was expressed in the comments. If you are completely unfairly blocked (and this happens) - you can try to write an article about this on the Habré, as well as on GoogleGroups issues. There is a chance that they will write to you on the PM and solve the problem.
    • Be brief! If you have too many words in principle (albeit not key) in the description of the application (or in the description of the update) - you may be banned
    • In addition to the general rules for applications, there are even more specific recommendations https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/113474?hl=en , and in Russian and in a beautiful form, with examples.


    I don’t understand why such a strictness. The fact that over the past couple of years the play has put things in order and tightened the rules is good. But banning developer accounts for life for just a few innocuous applications, and without trial, this is nonsense. Developers are collecting a petition trying to change Google’s attitude.

    Who is banning? Apparently, any left desk can snitch on your application if something is wrong there. A robot or a moderator can also ban (the first time the application is downloaded). The application is blocked without warning and without the possibility of recovery .

    Hope this article helps you. Joke "Have you been banned in Google?" becomes a harsh reality for some android developers. This is sad.

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