Google announced some changes to their Play Store so that better-performing apps meaning that crashes less and drains less battery will be ranked higher than apps with bugs and performance issues.
The goal of this move is to ensure that the best apps are promoted and to force developers to give more attention to the bugs and users demands. Since negative reviews can also reduce one’s rank.
Apps that don’t work well frustrate users, who often turn to reviews to complain. Over time a number of bad reviews and low stars will affect the position of the app in the charts and search results. But if an app is popular enough, a large install base can still, to some extent, override its negative reviews and push the app back up into the higher position than it rightly deserves. Thus taking away the incentive to fix the bugs.
Google says it’s looking at a variety of “quality signals” related to the performance of an app like app crashes, battery usage, how many times it is uninstalled, etc. The company did not share any more specifics regarding this “quality signals”.