Monday, September 30, 2019

Early Results from Google Play Experiment.

I have some early results to share about my Google Play Experiment. To recap: I released a game that requires Android 9+, hence is available for a mere 10% of the devices that use Google Play. So, is store-traffic reduced with -90% as well?

I was baffled to see that store traffic was flat out zero. Worse than that, the title will not show up at all, no matter how you search for it! I have created an un-searchable title!

First order of business, let's verify whether the title actually exists on the store, using the link from the Google Play Developer Console, here:

Ah, phew... it is actually there!

Now, let's search for it in Google Play using it's exact (longish) title:

I guess I should be happy that the first hit is actually on one of my own apps, and not a competitor. But still... the game is not in the search results. It returns 249 results in total, by the way.

Ok, maybe the fans of my older titles will find it by checking out the store page on my company? Let's go to my other game, and click on the "Game Studio Abraham Stolk Inc." link.

Even here, it is not present. Ok, a title that has zero links pointing at it from the Google Play store it self. This is going to be tricky. I need to leverage the existing customer base. So I put an advertisement for Little Crane 2 in my free game 'Six Wheels and a Gun.'

And yes! A big thank you to my first customer from Switzerland. I appreciate your support. So the store is working: you can buy Little Crane 2: Mud Play.

I celebrate every sale. That customer rocks. But hey... wait a minute.... what is that?

Der Nachfolger von "The Little Crane That Could", mit dem Sie im Schlamm graben k├Ânnen.

A German translation of the store page? I never added any translations. The developer console also lets you purchase translations, but I never did that. Who translated this? To me, it seems good enough to be a human translation, not a machine one, by the way.

So there we have it, ladies and gentlemen... A title on Google Play that you cannot search for and cannot find without a direct link taken from the developer console. But somehow, it has been translated.

UPDATE:
I complained to Google. It took them a few weeks, but they have half-way fixed it now. It is now possible to get "Little Crane 2: Mud Play" back as a search result. Sadly, only as the 5th title, even when searching the exact name. But hey, at least it is returned, and listed on my portfolio page.

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