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I assumed that app is more "top" within its category mostly based on installs (quantity and velocity) and user rates and comments. Probably also slightly some other criteria like android vitals score etc.

However, I spotted the app that is #9 in Top for parents with 1.9 average rate (sic!) from 177 users, and only 10k+ installs. All other apps in this top10 are like 100k installs and 4.8 rate.

The question is how is it possible?

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Google recently changed its ranking policy creating turmoil

It's quite possible that what you ate seeing is a fallout of that


In the past

The algorithm Google uses is clearly not public for obvious reasons of gaming by app developers but

Google Play help says

Apps are ranked based on a combination of ratings, reviews, downloads, and other factors

I think these other factors and search query wording (apart from downloads) play an important role as explained in this blog

  • App Name

  • App Description

  • Backlinks

  • In-App Purchase Rating and Reviews

  • Updates Downloads and Engagement

  • Some Hidden factors

Try changing the search query significantly to see a different result. Also the same search query from my phone and another users phone yields variations

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