Google pulls game from Play Store for SEO joke

Google has been working overtime to boot out apps that are malicious or of low quality from its Play Store, but it seems the company is also cracking down on apps that load up their descriptions with SEO-friendly terms. The search giant recently kicked out a game called Hazard Rush when the developer joked with this line: “Sit on the edge of your bus, train, subway, office or toilet seat as you evade enemies, trigger bombs, and collect multipliers in pursuit of your high scores. Hazard Rush is half Snake, half Geometry Wars, and half Temple Run (maybe that last one is just SEO).

Hazard Rush can still be sideloaded

Hazard Rush can still be sideloaded


Google apparently took exception to the last bit in the description and promptly shot off an email to the developer saying their game has been banned. In their missive to Surreal Street, the publishers of the app, Google wrote: “This is a notification that your application, Hazard Rush, with package ID com.surrealstreet.hazardrushau, has been removed from the Google Play Store. REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the spam provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the spam policy help article for more information.

The developer then took to Reddit to share their grief about the move. “I don't know what to do. From an amazing high to crashing lows,” was the sad response from the developer in the Reddit post.

The developer, naturally, appealed against the decision, but was turned away by Google, which probably means Hazard Rush won’t be coming back to the Play Store unless the developer releases the app under a different developer account. “We have reviewed your appeal and will not be reinstating your app. This decision is final and we will not be responding to any additional emails regarding this removal. We are unable to ... provide guidance on bringing future versions of your app into policy compliance,” Google said.

However, those wanting to play the game now can grab a sideloadable APK of Hazard Rush here.

Sadly, Hazard Rush was only released less than a week ago and now has to take an off-market route to be accepted by users. Hopefully, the unceremonious ban will give the game something of a cult following.

Published Date: Apr 10, 2013 01:49 pm | Updated Date: Apr 10, 2013 01:49 pm