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I agree with the poor support channels.

But remember the people generating publicity on blogs, because their Google+ account was deleted? Then it turned out they used a company name as their profile name, posted underage nudity, or otherwise violated the rules.

The blog assumes the developers are innocent and abiding by the developer rules. But can we take this assumption for a fact?

For all we know the developers might have been offering incentives to write reviews. The developers might have send account activation emails from a spammy host.

The email they received from Google isn't published, only described as vague. A tweet mentions "repetitive content".

  Spam and placement in store
  Do not post repetitive content
If you currently search for "RPG" ( https://play.google.com/store/search?q=rpg&c=apps ) 4 games from the top 9 are by 'Cory Trese'. All have near duplicate descriptions. They have 4 versions of a single game "Star Traders RPG".

I wouldn't look at update frequency or an algo fluke as the culprit, but look how I could remedy this apparent repetition, both in game versions and game descriptions.

He has two version of Templar Assault and Cyber Knights (paid and free) and three versions of Star Traders (paid, free, lite).

Many big-name games do this (you can choose between a paid version and a free, ad-supported version). Rovio released an Angry Birds Lite for a while when they were having performance issues on lower-end devices.

Assuming this behavior does break the rules (which is not a given), the rules are still enforced very inconsistently, with no recourse.

Star Traders International is the third version. It contains a community translation to six languages done by volunteers. We didn't feel right selling donated work.

Star Traders Mini is a super stripped down low resolution version that is 1/7 the size of RPG. Tiny downloads are appreciated by some users, but can't be combined with full size editions.

The other two are basic freemium Paid/Free.

Having actually played these games (particularly Cyber Knights which is an absolutely brilliant CyberPunk/ShadowRun tribute), I support these developers. I was highly skeptical when I first played the Star Traders game because the website wasn't the greatest, but after having played the games, I went and downloaded all their other stuff as well. I can see how it would be easy to dismiss them, but the algorithm is just wrong in this case.

Things would be a lot easier if Google just stated clearly what the alleged breach is. Google seems to think that saying too much enables the bad guys to tune their algorithms. That may be true, but I think it's the smaller problem.

Explaining exactly what behaviour should be stopped may make Google's arms race with the bad guys a little bit more difficult but it makes things a lot easier for everyone else without causing the kind of costs that human intervention would.

What they do now is basically security by obscurity.

But remember the people generating publicity on blogs, because their Google+ account was deleted? Then it turned out they used a company name as their profile name, posted underage nudity, or otherwise violated the rules.

It sucks for people running into legitimate issues, but I've learned to develop a bias over the years for these types of stories (especially when the word "ban" comes into play).

The vast, vast majority of people who complain about being banned from one service or another are either straight up lying, or leaving out crucial details to make their story sound sympathetic. Again, this ruins it for people that have legitimate grievances, but that's so rarely the case it's a lot more useful to take that stance that the person isn't being truthful about the situation.

Like paypal shutting down charities and refunding the donations after they take their percentage.

If separate free and paid versions (of course with almost identical descriptions) are going to be grounds for banning, the app section of Google Play is about to become very empty. It seems to be a fact of life that you really need to have a free demo version to be able to sell a game (or even a more serious app). Of course developers could change to just a free app + in-app purchases, but in-app purchases seem to have a slightly sleazy reputation. It's easy to see why some would prefer the two app model.

Why are people so much more willing to give Google a pass for this kind of stuff than Apple? Whenever the Apple app rejection story du jour makes the rounds, I rarely see anyone taking the "two sides to every story" angle.

At least with Apple you can appeal to a human. With Google all you can do is appeal to the press and hope someone there cares.

While Google has terrible, terrible support outside of Enterprise Google Apps use, you bring up something foundational-

But remember the people generating publicity

We're hearing one side of the story, where the players know that the other side is limited in what they normally can or will say (e.g. talk bad about Apple or Google -- playing up being the victim -- and for legal and professionalism reasons they usually won't correct egregious lies).

I want Google to seriously put the hammer down on the Play store -- this is a good thing for everyone. The people who exploited it before, who are the enemy of people who want a healthy and vibrant system, will inevitably cry foul and protest their innocence.

That isn't to say that I know anything about whether these guys are in the right or wrong, but it is curious how one-sided they are about Google's communications. It's also worth noting that very frequent updates are also a mechanism to get your app in the "New" category again and again, and we have to assume that Google has the capacity to know that the update wasn't an actual update but instead was simply, for instance, a version number change.

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