Until this week, Google Play users could find various informational, tracking or game apps related to coronavirus. However, now any search related to the coronavirus leads to no results. 9to5Google was the first website to detect the change, which they demonstrated with the before and after pictures of search results.
At this moment, when user search for the coronavirus related keywords, Google Play is no longer showing the results. The list of keywords include:
‘coronavirus,’ ‘coronavirus app,’ ‘corona,’ ‘coronavirus games,’ ‘coronavirus map,’ ‘covid-19,’ and ‘coronavirus tracker.’
However, one can still find coronavirus apps by searching for the slightly misspelt variations of ‘coronavirus’ and ‘covid-19.’ For example, users are still able to find tens of coronavirus games and apps when searching for “coronavrus,’ ‘cornavirus.’ ‘covid19,’ etc. Moreover, Google Play still shows relevant music, eBooks, and audiobooks for the coronavirus search queries.
Why did Google hide search results for coronavirus apps?
Coronavirus, also known as covid-19 has spread in 86 countries and territories since January 2019 causing massive panic and fear in the population. The outbreak came with the wave of misinformation coming from media and the internet. Google has not made any official comments about hiding coronavirus apps from the search results of the Play Store. However, many think that with it, Google is trying to tackle the spread of misinformation.
Many of the coronavirus apps available on the Google play are spreading information about the virus spreading area, some of them offer news about the coronavirus, etc. It is possible, that Google is hiding coronavirus apps from Google Play search results to restrict spreading misinformation.
However, some suggest that sudden changes can be due to the bag that is causing coronavirus apps and games not to show up on results.
Google against the coronavirus Misinformation
For now, we cannot say the reason why Google hides coronavirus apps from Google Play. However, we can surely say that it is working hard to prevent spreading coronavirus misinformation. The first attempt of Google was earlier in January. When the coronavirus outbreak took a serious turn. Google launched an SOS alert with the World Health Organization (WHO)
Users who search for coronavirus with the relevant keywords get information and safety tips from the trusted resources.