Google Play Store Tags: What & How to Use Them
In August, Google announced a few updates to improve the overall store experience but also app discoverability. The new updates include a fresh look, updated navigation, richer app information on the store listing and tags. Among all these updates, tags might have the biggest impact on ASO, hence we thought it is worth it to dive a little deeper into this topic. 🤓
What are Google Play Store tags?
Google announced that besides categories, developers can now also add ‘tags’ to their app listing. Both categories and tags help users search for and discover new apps in the Google Play Store.
- Categories: categories are used by Google to group apps. Users can then search for or discover new apps or games by browsing a certain category in the Play Store.
- Tags: tags help Google understand what your app is about. Google indicates that tags may affect where your app is displayed on the Google Play store.
Tags also might help you better benchmark your app’s performance as Google highlights they will also impact the peer groups you are compared against. Peer Groups allow developers to compare their app’s ratings, vitals and acquisition data with similar apps or games.
Since March, Tags now also show in the Search Results, next to the developer name, alongside the number of downloads and ratings. With tags now being so visible in the search results they might also have an impact on conversion rate.
Play Store Tags are now also displayed in the search results for certain queries, next to the developer name.
Tags & new navigation to help with content discoverability
Google Play’s new look introduces a cleaner look-and-feel but also the navigation has been updated. Similar as on Apple, Google now displays distinct Apps and Games sections, alongside a Movies & TV and Books section. According to Google, the new navigation should help it to better serve users the right kind of content.
Google has rolled out a visual redesign for the Google Play Store. The cleaner look and updated navigation should improve app discoverability and accessibility. Source: Android-developers.googleblog.com
As Google is focusing more and more on content discoverability, tags will help Google to cluster similar apps so it can show users relevant content when they are browsing the store. As a result, developers can expect an impact on impressions and downloads from ‘explore’.
Tags allows Google to cluster apps across categories to serve users with better content.
Tags will also likely impact the Similar Apps cards on both an app listing and the keyword search results.
How to choose the right tags for your app or game.
To add tags to your app, login to the Google Play Console, click on ‘store presence > store listing’ in the left menu. Underneath ‘categorization’, click on ‘manage tags’. Developers can add up to 5 tags to their app or game.
Instructions on how to add tags to your app or game.
According to Google’s guidelines developers should choose tags that describe the content and functionality of their app. Google further stresses that you should choose tags that are “most obviously relevant to your app. It should be very clear to a user unfamiliar with the app why the tag is relevant based on the store listing or initial in-app experience”.
We recommend to take Google’s guidelines to heart and be careful when choosing your tags. Only select the most relevant tags and refrain from adding tags that describe competitors as this might negatively impact your rankings and visibility. That means that it is not necessary to use all 5 tag slots. Instead, it might be better for you to just choose 2 or 3 tags that are the most relevant for your app..
Also, keep in mind that tags are global. You cannot choose tags on a per listing or country basis. This means that if your app includes features that are only available in certain markets, you should be careful in deciding whether or not to add a tag that describes those features.
Monitor the impact of Google Play Store tags on ASO
As Google just rolled out ‘tags’, it is early to analyze the potential impact of tags on ASO. However, recently an AppTweak shared that their visibility in the Similar Apps decreased after they updated their tags.
You can use AppTweak to monitor your app’s visibility in the Similar Apps cards. Not only can you find out which apps are referring to your app in the Similar Apps card, you can also track the history and estimate how many views you might have received from similar apps.
1. Find out which apps refer to your app in the Similar Apps Section.
With AppTweak you can see all the apps that have your app listed in the Similar Apps section. For this example we’re analyzing Mario Kart Tour. AppTweak indicates that Mario Kart Tour is listed as the 6th app on PAC-MAN’s app listing in the Similar Apps Cards.
Example of the apps that point towards Maria Kart Tour in their Similar Apps cards.
2. Estimate how many views your app is receiving from the Similar Apps cards.
AppTweak has developed a unique metric to help you estimate the number of views your app might receive from being listed in Similar Apps cards. You can then compare your estimated views with competitors over time. In the graph below you can see that AppTweak estimates Mario Kart Tour receives an average of 14.3K views from Similar Apps, more than Subway Surfers (71) and Temple Run 2 (4.86K).
In this example below AppTweak estimates hat Mario Kart Tour receives more views from Similar Apps cards than its competitors.
3. Analyze jumps in Similar App views with Similar Apps History.
If you see certain jumps in your Similar Apps views you can use the History feature to find out if your app is now appearing in the Similar Apps cards of more powerful apps. In the example below we see that on February 29th, Mario Kart Tour did not appear anymore in the Similar App cards of Pokemon Go, instead the app is now listed in the Similar Apps section of Super Mario Run.
Example of the Similar Apps History of Mario Kart Tour. Until February 28th, Mario Kart Tour appeared in the Similar Apps Cards of Pokemon Go. On February 29th, Mario Kart Tour did not appear anymore in the Similar App cards of Pokemon Go, instead the app is now listed in the Similar Apps section of Super Mario Run.
📈Did you add tags to your app or game already? Are you seeing an impact on downloads so far?
Make sure to monitor your app’s performance regularly! Start your 7-day free trial on AppTweak today to get started!