A Deep Dive into Reported App Reviews & Deletion Rates: behind the curtain
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Store reviews containing offensive, abusive, or spammy material should not be left untackled. Not only do they cause damage to your app’s online reputation, but they violate the AppStore and Google Play Policy.
But how do you take action on this issue? You should use the Report a Concern feature in AppFollow to inform the app stores of these types of reviews so that they can remove them.
In this article, we explore original data which shows that reviews are deleted more frequently after the use of Report a Concern, and we analyze how much time it takes for this to happen
The state of review deletion on the App Store
It’s known that moderators for the App Store remove 80% of reviews marked as ‘Spam.’ Reviews classified in other criteria for complaint have a removal rate of about 30%. Therefore, when searching for inappropriate reviews, focus on Spam reviews first.
Our research found that Spam reviews are the most likely to have a 5-star rating: as you can see from the chart below, 76% of deleted spam reviews had the highest rating. The other deleted reviews categories have a rate of 80% or more with 1-star ratings. If you want to improve your app's average rating, you should report inappropriate reviews with a 1 to 3-star rating.
Our research also found that spam reviews are removed the fastest, usually within 24 hours. Other types of inappropriate reviews are removed within 1-2 days. Finally, about a quarter of reviews are deleted after eight days.
There was another interesting factor that we found. The rate of deletion for reviews is quite different according to their language. The most frequently deleted reviews are in Japanese (56%), while the least frequently are in Spanish (16%). Reviews in Russian also have a low percentage of deletions - at 25%. During your review audit, you should take these percentage rates on board and report reviews in languages that get deleted the most.
However, the language of the review does not affect the deletion speed. All languages have about the same proportion of reviews removed within 1-2 days.
The state of review deletion on the Play Store
In Google Play, you can't select the reason for a review report, and thus we can only analyze data on all reports and data by language.
We discovered that the percentage of unwanted reviews removed on Google Play (49%) is significantly higher than on the App Store (34%).
The removal rate in Google Play is also higher than in the App Store. Most reviews are deleted within 1-2 days, and only a tiny fraction are not deleted within a week. Therefore, reporting reviews on Google Play will be more effective and have a more significant impact on increasing an app's average rating than on the App Store.
As with the App Store, the rate of deletion in Google Play depends on the language of the reviews. The highest is for Russian (57%), and the lowest is for English (35%). It’s also interesting that Russian reviews are deleted significantly more in Google Play (57%) than in the App Store (25%).
We recommend using the Report a Concern feature in your everyday review management process. It can improve your app average rating significantly and helps protect your online brand reputation. You can quickly prioritize reviews to report a concern and adjust your review management based on reviews topics and languages. Choose the reviews with a higher deleted ratio to report first, then proceed with the other reviews.