In part one of our two-part series on Google Play, we addressed Google’s customized home page, how discounts can equal increased visibility for your book, and how to utilize the ‘new release’ section effectively.
Now, you need to learn about Google Play’s algorithm.
Google is well-known for the algorithm it uses to generate hundreds of websites for each search you make. In fact, Google’s algorithm is so refined that it will somehow know exactly which electronic dance music song you’re trying to find based only on your search of, “What’s the name of the song that goes boom, boom, bang, boom, bang?” Then, as if by magic, Google’s search engine will lead you to not only the song name, but also to the DJ’s name, their entire life story, and to about twelve hours’ worth of rabbit-hole information about their dating life.
Don’t deny it. You’ve gone down a rabbit hole of Google searches once or twice (or one hundred) times before, too.
It’s clear that Google’s internet search algorithm is extremely refined. However, the algorithm used for Google Play specifically is fairly simple.
Let’s take a look.
Google Play’s algorithm places a lot of emphasis on whether the keywords in your book’s title, subtitle, categories, and product blurb match up with the reader’s search keywords.
In fact, the algorithm cares far more about keyword matches than about which books have made the most sales. This can be great news for new authors trying to get their books to show up in searches before they’ve become established.
Unfortunately, this system has also led to keyword dumping, where authors purposely fill blurbs with as many keywords as possible. Not only is keyword dumping noticeable to a reader, but it is also noticeable to the team at Google Play. Given that Google Play is aware of the issue, it is unlikely that dumping will be tolerated much longer. Either way, it is not an ethical practice to rely on.
Google Play’s algorithm also gives high priority to keyword matches within the product categories.
If you decide to publish your book on Google Play, you will be given many categories to choose from to describe your book. You can choose as many categories as you’d like, and these are used as keywords to match your book up with searches. The algorithm doesn’t give as much attention to keyword matches within categories as it does for matches in the title name, but category keyword matches can still be important to maximize sales.
Google Play’s Algorithm Flaw
Google Play’s algorithm is far simpler than the Google search engine’s algorithm. However, it does have one glaring flaw that still needs to be worked out.
As of the publication of this article, the Google Play algorithm suggests listings that it thinks the reader might be interested in, regardless of which exact keywords were used - and it’s not always right. This can clutter up the search results and take attention away from your book.
Despite this flaw, though, Google Play continues to grow its online storefront and be a viable option for authors. Furthermore, if you understand the best ways to navigate this algorithm, then your chances of success increase even more.
Digital Content Creators Can Help
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