Google Play Ratings: Public & Private Data

Article author
Anastasia
  • Updated

When you look at a Google Play app's rating on our Rating Chart, you may be looking at either public or private data. Private data is only available if the Google Play Ratings Integration is set up for your app. In this article, you'll learn about these two data sources and find out how to differentiate between them in your AppFollow Workspace.


Total Ratings (Public)

Total (cumulative) ratings are country-specific only. In October 2021, Google Play deprecated the worldwide public ratings:

  • Before: Apps had a united rating star distribution and an average rating for all countries.
  • Now: Apps have different rating star distributions and average ratings for every country.

For countries where there's not enough rating data, Google Play shows a “default” rating with unknown calculations.

Total ratings are publicly available to end-users visiting your app's page in Google Play Store in a specific country. We show the totals for the last date of the timeframe you selected in the page’s filter sections (for example, if you choose September 1st – September 7th, you’ll see the totals as they appeared on September 7th).

  • Ratings over time– the total number of ratings your app received from the app’s launch to the end of the selected timeframe.
  • Average rating– the app’s total average rating at the end of the selected timeframe.
  • Overall star breakdown– the distribution of total ratings for the selected timeframe, displayed as a percentage and absolute value. This section breaks down ratings by stars so that you can evaluate the portion of 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1-star ratings.

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Why does the Total rating change?

Google Play public ratings are calculated using an average weighted calculation. Google does not disclose the details of this calculation.

The total public rating does not always increase on a day-to-day basis. You may see a lower number at a later date when compared to an earlier date. For example, there were 651 5-star ratings at the beginning of February, but at the end of February, the total changed to 632 5-star ratings. It's normal to see a lower count of ratings when looking at public data. 

The changes in the totals can be explained by recalculations that factor in updates to ratings and rating removals. For example, if several users change their 5-star ratings to 4-star ratings, you'll see a lower count of 5-star ratings at a later date.


Why are country-specific and worldwide ratings different? 

Country-specific and worldwide incremental ratings will not add up, because the data is taken from different sources: country-specific ratings are from the public app page, and the worldwide rating is from the developer console. Keep on reading for more details below.


Incremental Country-specific Ratings (Public)

If you're looking at Incremental country-specific ratings for a Google Play app, you will see the daily distribution between the ratings that Google shows on the app's public page (the page that end-users see when they look up your app in the store). We take this data for 1 date, compare it to the other and calculate the difference between them to show the distribution.

This view may sometimes show negative ratings. This is because Google Play recalculates and deletes ratings regularly. The rating distribution today may be very different from what it looked like yesterday. For example, your app may have had 100 5-star ratings yesterday, but today it will have only 80. We will show you this difference, and as a result, you will see a negative number of 5-star ratings on the chart.

Turn the "Show negative values" toggle to see negative numbers on the chart.

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Incremental Worldwide Ratings (Private)

Incremental Worldwide ratings is a private data that comes directly from your Google Developer Console. This data is only available to the developer of the app.

When you add a Google Play Ratings Integration, you can pull this data into AppFollow to see the exact number of worldwide ratings you received on a specific day, week, or month.

Please note that the chart in the GP Console (where we take this data from) does not have a country filter. This is why we can only get worldwide ratings from the Console – country ratings simply do not exist there:

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Why are there no past (historical) ratings?

When you add the Ratings integration, we collect all the available worldwide rating stats from the Google Developer Console. There's no way to retrieve more data than is available in the Console, but you'll see everything that is currently available there. 


💡 Need more info about ratings? Check out our dedicated article: Rating Chart (Stars)

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