Impact of Google Play Tags on App Visibility

Simon Thillayby 
Head of ASO at AppTweak

4 min read

In a digital landscape teeming with millions of applications, Google Play tags provide a lifeline for both app developers and users. These tags serve as guideposts, leading users to the apps that best align with their interests and needs. For developers, they offer a fresh opportunity to enhance their app’s visibility and reach the right audience.

In this blog, we’ll explore this feature and provide practical insights to help you make the most of Google Play tags to improve your app’s discoverability.

Google Play Search results now showing Google Tags
Google tags are now displayed next to the developer name in the search results.

1. Measuring the impact of tags on Browse traffic

Since their release, ASO experts have been discussing the potential impact of Google Play tags on Browse traffic. The guidelines suggest that adding tags to describe your app’s content and functionality can influence where it appears in Google Play and who it’s compared against.

Although Google didn’t provide specific details on how app display would change, the likely scenarios included app clusters on the homepage customized to user interests and the Similar Apps sections in other app product pages. In both cases, tags would enhance the data used by store algorithms to improve app matching within clusters and user segments.

App Clusters on the Google Play homepage
App clusters on the homepage of Google Play are likely influenced by Google tags.

When it comes to similar apps, we have some recent data from Questland, showing the effects of altering their Google tags selection.

On March 27 in the US, Questland made changes to their tags. Following this update, they noticed a significant shift in the games that were labeled as “similar apps” to Questland, and the ranking they received as a similar app for those games. This led to a notable drop in the number of times Questland was displayed to users (impressions).

Views from similar apps from Questland
Questland views from similar apps dropped just one day after the update of their Google tags.

Questland used to be the top similar app on RAID’s app page. However, when they changed their Google tags, replacing “puzzle role-playing” with “roguelike,” Questland dropped to the 7th position. This change resulted in a daily loss of 3,500 impressions. Also, Questland was no longer shown as a similar app to AFK Arena, causing a loss of another thousand daily views.

Find out how to measure the number of views your app receives from similar apps

The tag change also impacted Questland‘s rankings among top similar apps. This change happened within a day of them updating their Google tags. We were able to repeat these findings in a test app in the Games category.

While the effect of tag changes is clear, it’s essential to remember that you can’t predict with certainty which apps will link to yours or appear in the Similar Apps section. That’s why, it’s vital to follow Google Play’s tag guidelines and be careful when making changes.

Learn how to use Google Play tags

2. Consider impacts on conversion & search rankings

Now that Google Play tags show up in search results for some queries, we face a new challenge – understanding how they affect conversion for those specific searches and your app’s rank for those terms.

Google Play Search results now showing Google Tags
“Car,” “Offline,” and “Single player” also appear as tags used by top games ranking for “racing games.”

Let’s go back to our original screenshot from Google Play’s search for “Racing Games.” In this search, we notice that all the results, including ads and organic listings, have the “racing” tag. Some of the top organic results also feature tags like “car,” “offline,” or “single player.”

This information is vital because it can influence a user’s choice when they decide which app to explore. It also gives us insights into the possible search intentions that Google associates with the initial search term. While the connection between “racing” and “car” is quite obvious, it’s interesting to see how “single player” and “offline” can highlight specific features that not all racing games offer. Developers can also understand which features players value the most, assuming these rankings reflect a certain hierarchy in terms of conversion and retention.


The choice of Google Play tags for your app can have a big effect on the organic traffic you get, especially since Google is now showing tags in search results. Therefore, we recommend keeping an eye on the tags your key competitors use and the tags top-ranking apps use for your crucial keywords. You can experiment with adding these tags thoughtfully.

Start a 7-day free trial

Simon Thillay
by , Head of ASO at AppTweak
Simon is Head of ASO at AppTweak, helping apps boost their visibility and downloads. He's passionate about new technologies, growth organizations, and inline speed skating.