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Developer fury as Google makes Android apps vanish

Thirty pages of rages as Market goes haywire

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Android developers are furious about Google's changes to the way search works in the Android application marketplace.

The changes were put into place on 1 July, and since then, a lot of previously very popular applications have now effectively disappeared.

The anger on the Android forums is partly financial – one developer said downloads had been cut 80 per cent since the change – and partly irritation at Google's arrogance: the company hasn't bothered to respond.

One developer said his app had been top of the list when searched for by name or by specific keywords. After the changes, he cannot find it when searching even by the app's exact name. Searching by developer name, which a consumer is not likely to do, left his app way down the list behind apps with less than 50 downloads and no reviews.

The search and advertising giant has been accused of tweaking its main web search results in favour of its own services. That, or the company that made its fortune by making a search engine has forgotten how to do search.

There are over 1,100 posts on the main thread of the Android support forum, dating back to 1 July. The problem seems to have started on 28 June. On 6 July, Heidi from Google said the company was aware of the issue and promised to investigate.

It's not all negative, some posters – hello DonSV – to the forum have seen a surprising jump in their rankings.

We've asked Google if it has a response. We'll let you know if we hear more.

The 30-page thread on Google's own support forum about Android Market problems is here. ®

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