Late last month, developers began flagging an issue with searching for apps on the Play Store. As per the reports, any new app published to the Play Store was not showing up in the search results. This was the case even when users looked for the exact app name, or the app name followed by a short description of the app. Interestingly, searching for the app with spaces between the app name filled up with underscores seemed to yield desired results.
Spotted first by Android Authority, many big-name developers were seen commenting on the issue suggesting that something had gone wrong with the search functionality. For example, if users searched for the “Deliver The Duck” game using the exact app name as the keyword, the search results wouldn’t display the app. However, using the “Deliver_The_Duck” keyword brings up the app right at the top. At the time, it was also not clear if the issue was intentional or a bug in the search or indexing functionality.
It looks like the functionality is now finally being fixed (spotted by XDADevelopers). Some developers began noticing that the search results worked as expected. An official comment, however, was made today, confirming that the issue had indeed been fixed. The Play Store received a redesign in August that improved the way users searched for apps and content.
Whether the issue was caused by the efforts to improve search functionality or something else entirely is anyone’s guess. The fix is nonetheless welcomed by developers who were impacted by low visibility of their recently published apps.