Rejected for "Spam and Placement in the Store" on an already-approved extension. Help appreciated

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Glen Allsopp

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Jan 19, 2020, 12:41:30 PM1/19/20
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Hi Simeon and everyone else.

My recently-approved extension is off to a great start with over 100 installations after a very soft launch.

I have tried to update the extension and make it a little faster - literally making an absolutely tiny change - and now the update is being rejected for "Spam and Placement in the Store".

Here were the specific warnings given, with my responses:

Do not post repetitive content.

 - We somehow had two versions of the app in the store (I don't know how since I never created a new listing), but this has been resolved before the rejection so I don't know what this can be.

Do not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the store, or manipulate any Product ratings or reviews, by unauthorized means, such as fraudulent installs, paid or fake reviews or ratings, or offering incentives to rate Products.

 - Definitely have not done this. We don't have a single review.

Do not post an app if the primary functionality is to link to a website not owned by the developer posting the app.

 - The primary function is to see the SEO-elements of a web page. Many extensions with tens of thousands of users to the same.

Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to install or launch another app, theme, or extension. For example, you cannot post an app if its primary function is to launch a desktop app that the user has already installed. Another example of a disallowed practice would be to post a packaged app that just launches a website.

 - Not us.

Your app must comply with Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines.

 - I don't know what this could refer to but we're literally just highlighting SEO elements on a page. 

**

ID: pfjdepjjfjjahkjfpkcgfmfhmnakjfba

Simeon, I am jealous of your forever-animated Twitter profile pic.

Any help would be much appreciated. 

Simeon Vincent

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Jan 23, 2020, 2:14:49 PM1/23/20
to Glen Allsopp, Chromium Extensions
It looks like you were able to publish a new version yesterday. I didn't understand the rejection and would have requested clarification, but I think that's a moot point now.

Cheers,

Simeon - @dotproto
Extensions Developer Advocate


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Jackie Han

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Jan 23, 2020, 2:25:08 PM1/23/20
to Simeon Vincent, Glen Allsopp, Chromium Extensions

"Spam and Placement in the Store"

  • Do not post repetitive content.
  • Do not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the store, or manipulate any Product ratings or reviews, by unauthorized means, such as fraudulent installs, paid or fake reviews or ratings, or offering incentives to rate Products.
  • Do not post an app if the primary functionality is to link to a website not owned by the developer posting the app.
  • Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to install or launch another app, theme, or extension. For example, you cannot post an app if its primary function is to launch a desktop app that the user has already installed. Another example of a disallowed practice would be to post a packaged app that just launches a website.
    Chrome Web Store has any policy updates ? Any further explanation ?



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    Florian Krüsch

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    Jan 23, 2020, 2:32:12 PM1/23/20
    to Jackie Han, Simeon Vincent, Glen Allsopp, Chromium Extensions

    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 4:13:20 PM1/23/20
    to Florian Krüsch, Jackie Han, Glen Allsopp, Chromium Extensions
    Please share the IDs of your extensions. I can't look into a rejection without knowing what to look at ;)

    Simeon Vincent
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    Mark Dostie

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    Jan 23, 2020, 4:15:07 PM1/23/20
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    Same issue:
    ID: podoeeahljodkgpgmefdcmmpakfacald

    Marc Font

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    Jan 23, 2020, 4:19:25 PM1/23/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Same issue at comeet.me:

    ID: djjdlpgfmfdkdcgldpcojgjhfmlddgdi

    Thanks in adavance


    On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 10:15:07 PM UTC+1, Mark Dostie wrote:
    Same issue:
    ID: podoeeahljodkgpgmefdcmmpakfacald

    On 2020-01-23 1:12 p.m., Simeon Vincent wrote:
    Please share the IDs of your extensions. I can't look into a rejection without knowing what to look at ;)

    Simeon Vincent
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 11:31 AM Florian Krüsch <in...@fk-ecommerce.com> wrote:
    Same here :-( 

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    Florian Krüsch

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    Jan 23, 2020, 4:23:13 PM1/23/20
    to Simeon Vincent, Chromium Extensions
    ID: cbllkbfbefpfhkepcpegdhdpokghfcob

    Thanks!

    Jason Savard

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    Jan 23, 2020, 5:50:07 PM1/23/20
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    Same here ID: oeopbcgkkoapgobdbedcemjljbihmemj
    ps. I replied to the email but not response after several days now.

    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 6:25:21 PM1/23/20
    to Jason Savard, Chromium Extensions
    Mark Dostie, It looks like the review team did not believe the current description to provide sufficient disclosure of the extensions' purpose and functionality. I'd recommend comparing your description against what publicly accessible extensions provide.

    Additionally, please note that value you provide in the description field of your manifest.json appears at the top of your web store listing in bold. At the moment your CWS description and manifest.json description are very similar. You can treat your manifest description as an intro and use the CWS description to jump straight into more detailed information.

    Marc Font, I think there may have been a misunderstanding. Please republish your extension.

    Florian Krüsch, please use this form to appeal your rejection.

    Jason Savard, I think there may have been a misunderstanding. Please republish your extension.

    Cheers,

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

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    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:09:43 PM1/23/20
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    Florian Krüsch, sorry, I misread that form. Please reply to the rejection email you received and request an appeal of the decision. 

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    Alex Feinstein

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:19:54 PM1/23/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    I have the same issue with my extension JS Digger

    ID: ndindkkcbpmfoinihohmhdhphgpiofbb
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    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:41:22 PM1/23/20
    to Alex Feinstein, Chromium Extensions
    Alex, please reply to the rejection email you received and request an appeal of the decision. 

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

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    Alex Feinstein

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:50:11 PM1/23/20
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    I did, for both of the rejection emails I received. I got no response.
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    Carmen Bowen

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:51:58 PM1/23/20
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    Simeon,

    I have the same issue with the initial submission of my extension: jhbjljcleeiihkaglhmhbjcnofljiogj

    Sincerely,
    Carmen Bowen
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    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:52:35 PM1/23/20
    to Alex Feinstein, Chromium Extensions
    How long ago? I'm pretty sure there's a backlog for this type of rejection at the moment.

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

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    Alex Feinstein

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:55:43 PM1/23/20
    to Simeon Vincent, Chromium Extensions
    I replied to the first one last Monday. I replied to the second one today. I realized I only replied to you, so I resent this email.

    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:57:26 PM1/23/20
    to Alex Feinstein, Chromium Extensions
    Thanks for doing that. Hm. A week is longer than I'd expect. I'll need to reach out to review to dig more into this.

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    Alex Feinstein

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    Jan 23, 2020, 7:59:49 PM1/23/20
    to Simeon Vincent, Chromium Extensions
    Sounds good! Thank you for your help!

    One thing I suspected was that I was using both activeTab and <all_urls>. I fixed this and JS Digger is currently pending review. 

    Simeon Vincent

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    Jan 23, 2020, 8:02:29 PM1/23/20
    to Alex Feinstein, Chromium Extensions
    AFAIK activeTab & <all_urls> would be a minimum permissions violation, not a spam one. Still a concern and potential reason for rejection, but it's a separate issue.

    Alex, you mentioned two extensions but only provided one ID. Is there a second extension that also received a spam rejection?

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    Alex Feinstein

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    Jan 23, 2020, 8:06:12 PM1/23/20
    to Simeon Vincent, Chromium Extensions
    No, it was the same extension twice.

    Jeff Johnson

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    Jan 23, 2020, 9:32:03 PM1/23/20
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    My extension ID is gfdahjcdgfioalhekjflcpijhngbjgdo

    My extension has been on the store for more than a year, updated many times with no problem. On Sunday I submitted a minor bug fix update, and then yesterday I received an email "Chrome Web Store: Removal notification" with the generic "Spam and Placement in the Store" reason that everyone else has been getting. My update shows as rejected in the developer dashboard, but my current version is still in the store. None of the things listed in the email apply to my extension.

    It seems that Google must have a bug somewhere to be sending these "Spam and Placement in the Store" emails all of a sudden to so many extension developers. I see many threads about it here, and I've found more on Twitter. I can't be just a coincidence.

    Jackie Han

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    Jan 24, 2020, 10:29:54 AM1/24/20
    to Simeon Vincent, Glen Allsopp, Chromium Extensions
    My extension has reinstated. Good luck to others.
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    Vish Jiawon

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    Jan 25, 2020, 9:23:30 AM1/25/20
    to Chromium Extensions, in...@fk-ecommerce.com, han.g...@gmail.com, gl...@detailed.com
    Hello Simeon, 

    I've also experienced this. Extension id mecefkgphoclbiadaannooafhgnmmmhl. Our publish request included a 128x128 icon, two screenshots, 3 promotional tiles, and a link to our verified website. Our manifest and crx contain icons in sizes 16, 48, and 128. We have what we believe is a detailed description that we've based on top published apps in the store. It is not clear to me exactly what else should be added.

    Thanks,
    Vish

    On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 4:13:20 PM UTC-5, Simeon Vincent wrote:
    Please share the IDs of your extensions. I can't look into a rejection without knowing what to look at ;)

    Simeon Vincent
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 11:31 AM Florian Krüsch <in...@fk-ecommerce.com> wrote:
    Same here :-( 

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    skun Siymly

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    Jan 25, 2020, 10:54:39 AM1/25/20
    to Vish Jiawon, Chromium Extensions, in...@fk-ecommerce.com, han.g...@gmail.com, gl...@detailed.com


    ในวันที่ ส. 25 ม.ค. 2020 21:23 น. Vish Jiawon <vji...@gmail.com> เขียนว่า:
    Same here :-( 

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    Fatty Noparents

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    Jan 25, 2020, 12:31:40 PM1/25/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Same happened to my extension - ID gmbicfpadlmgkfhfepknbmemfhahelll

    It happens already second time in a row. I publish the extension back and they take it down without any explanation of what I have to do to get it back.
    I haven't even made any changes to the latest version, other than edited the CSS file of the extension.

    I get no reply from the support, though I am trying to contact them all these last days.
    I don't know what to do.

    wooshark dropshipping

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    Jan 25, 2020, 2:38:39 PM1/25/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    the same thing happening to me to all my exensions, this is becoming really frustrating, after all this time of efforts to make the extensions stable, I am getting everything rejected without any explanation,  no one is taking the responsability to reply to our emails.my extensions are paid extensions and customer are sending emails again and again, I am getting bad feedbacks for something out of my control, if there is anyone who can clarify a bit this situation. 
    I have tried everything, from remove all permissions to removing almost all the description, nothing has worked

    PoziWorld

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    Jan 25, 2020, 3:56:07 PM1/25/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Hello Simeon,

    1) I have a public version of my extension – bdglbogiolkffcmojmmkipgnpkfipijm – which I use for stable builds.
    And I also have two unlisted versions of it – lbjkjmmcckjjijnnhdabbnkddgmpinhc and hfdnjjobhcbkciapachaegijeednggeh – which I use for more frequent updates, as alpha and beta versions respectively.

    When a stable version is ready, I release it for all three extensions, as I don't want the alpha and beta versions to be behind the stable one.

    The alpha and beta versions are primarily targeted for the translators of the extension, whom I communicate with via the translation portal (https://www.transifex.com/poziworld/pozitone/), so they can verify their translations embedded before the translations are made live to all users of the stable version.

    My last submission for hfdnjjobhcbkciapachaegijeednggeh was rejected. I understand it could be due to the fact it doesn't have a proper description, but that is on purpose: the current description specifically says the extension is not for the general public.

    Do you still want me to have a proper description? Or, is there another issue?

    ---

    2) I have another public extension – chinfkfmaefdlchhempbfgbdagheknoj – that also has a beta version created for the translators (https://www.transifex.com/poziworld/scroll-to-top-button/) – hbidmfhlfagmhnpoeipcanlcokbdmona.

    My last three submissions for hbidmfhlfagmhnpoeipcanlcokbdmona have been rejected.
    When I reply to the rejection email with “Can you specify the exact issue, please?”, I receive “Upon a subsequent review, we’ve reinstated your item and it is now available in the Chrome Web Store.”

    On another rejection, I ask again “Can you specify the exact issue you found, please?” and I get “Thank you for your item resubmission. Your item will be available in the Chrome Web Store within 30 minutes.”
    That reply was 4 days ago, but the extension is still marked as rejected on the developer dashboard.

    Could you please explain why my submissions get rejected in the first place and, after I ask for the reason, they get reinstated without any changes from me?
    Could you please look into why the last submission is still not available in the Chrome Web Store even though it should be?

    Thank you.

    Дмитрий Омельченко

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    Jan 26, 2020, 9:57:53 AM1/26/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Same thing for me. Failure to publish extension updates due to spam ...
    ("Script Package", "kggpdmfnfmmkneemhknlojemcjmdlpjb")

    ManuTz SonG

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    Jan 26, 2020, 10:53:19 AM1/26/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    happen to me too. this is my 3rd time going for 4th now.

    Yarden Naveh

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    Jan 26, 2020, 4:25:28 PM1/26/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Happened to me too. 
    My Chrome Extension has been live for over a year. I've been publishing updates on a weekly basis and haven't changed anything in the manifest.
    Suddenly, last week I got the following message:


    Your item did not comply with the following section of our Program Policies:

    "Spam and Placement in the Store"

    • Item has a blank description field, or missing icons or screenshots, and appears to be suspicious.

    I don't understand why. Now I made sure to add all required sizes of the icons and I have a description, but it is still rejected. 
    I'd tried reaching out to the dev support, but all I get is the same automated message again.

    PLEASE HELP!

    Merijn de Jonge

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    Jan 27, 2020, 2:32:55 AM1/27/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Same story for me. Previous versions were accepted (also a very recent one). Then after submitting a small bug fix Google rejects it because it suddenly things it is spam or so. I do have the icon,  description and screenshots as part of the submission, as well as all other required information. Also links to my company website and a YouTube movie explaining what the extension is about etc.  So, completely unclear why Google rejects it...

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    Karl

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    Jan 27, 2020, 4:44:57 AM1/27/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    I have the same problem. Just changed few lines in my description and removed two pictures, nothing more.
    I've been rejected five times since Wednesday last week, and each time I get the same computer-generated message (Your item did not comply with the following section of our Program Policies"Spam and Placement in the Store"). Even though I brought everything back to the old description.

    No answer to my 6 e-mails from google support. Tried support formular, even then no answer.

    My ID: ahfgcgcekjnnnacekibcangfooibmehc

    @Simeon: Hopefully you can help me or give me a hint. If I really need to change something I will do, but I really don't know what. The description is the same of the last 3 months and there have never been problems until now.

    Best regards

    Дмитрий Омельченко

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    Jan 27, 2020, 7:04:49 AM1/27/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    In my case, changing the extension icon, updated the description in the manifest and updated the description on the publication page helped publish the update without problems after a failure.

    воскресенье, 26 января 2020 г., 17:57:53 UTC+3 пользователь Дмитрий Омельченко написал:

    HeavenIdea Corporation

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    Jan 27, 2020, 7:30:03 AM1/27/20
    to Chromium Extensions, omd...@gmail.com
    Hi Дмитрий,

    Was it paid extension of free one? 

    Thank you in advance!

    Дмитрий Омельченко

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    Jan 27, 2020, 8:58:48 AM1/27/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    This is a free extension available only through a direct link. Open to all countries.

    понедельник, 27 января 2020 г., 15:30:03 UTC+3 пользователь HeavenIdea Corporation написал:

    Jeff Johnson

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    Jan 27, 2020, 9:49:06 AM1/27/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    On January 22 I received the "Spam and Placement in the Store", and I replied the same day. This morning I finally received a reply that said simply "To have your item reinstated, please re-publish it in your developer dashboard." So I went to the dashboard and published my update (with no changes from the previous draft), and it said that the update has been submitted for review, as usual for my updates. However, the Developer Dashboard is still showing "REJECTED" for my update instead of "Pending Review". Thus, I have no way of knowing whether my update is actually pending review, or whether it's been rejected again??

    This entire process is madness.

    FUT Trading 101

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    Jan 28, 2020, 12:25:13 PM1/28/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Did you get it published at the end, Jeff or still rejected?

    Jeff Johnson

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    Jan 28, 2020, 12:29:45 PM1/28/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    It's still rejected.

    I'm afraid to try again, because I've read that some developer accounts have been suspended altogether.

    FUT Trading 101

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    Jan 28, 2020, 12:34:09 PM1/28/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    On the same boat here, wrongfully accused :(

    Fatty Noparents

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    Jan 29, 2020, 1:02:00 AM1/29/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    I have received a letter from Google saying that my extension has been reinstated and will be available in the Store in 30 minutes.
    It was 10 hours ago, and the extension is still in the pending review status.
    This is ridiculous.

    Rashidul Hasan

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    Jan 29, 2020, 2:50:19 AM1/29/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Same thing happeing to me too. I've been trying for last 1 month. This are things I'm using:
    extension name: Quickr
    Summary: News reading improved!
    decription: How it works:
    When you're browsing any of the supported news portals, when you hover over any of the title, a blue "QuickView" button will appear on the title. Click on it to read the details on a popup window. No need to open that link in a new tab!

    Anyone can guess anyhting wrong with these?

    Jeff Johnson

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    Jan 29, 2020, 12:19:31 PM1/29/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Update: I just received another "Spam and Placement in the Store" email (which is again misleadingly titled "Chrome Web Store: Removal notification for StopTheMadness"). My extension is still in the store, but I assume this new email is rejecting the update that I published 2 days ago.

    I only re-published after Chrome Web Store Developer Support told me to re-publish. But they rejected it again, so what in the world am I supposed to do?!?!?!? I'm following Google's instructions and still getting rejected.

    Fatty Noparents

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    Jan 29, 2020, 1:41:17 PM1/29/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    Exactly same thing happened to me just now. The support wrote to me to publish my extension and immediately rejected it.
    This is madness.

    ManuTz SonG

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    Jan 30, 2020, 2:08:00 AM1/30/20
    to Chromium Extensions
    not even 1 support email reply me back.

    ojdacaeifolmomdnjodfmojipkmkboii

    Alex Feinstein

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    Jan 31, 2020, 1:00:53 AM1/31/20
    to Chromium Extensions, feinste...@gmail.com
    Hi Simeon,

    I have still not received an update about my extension JS Digger, and it is still pending review. Do you know how I can receive an update on the review? The extension ID is "ndindkkcbpmfoinihohmhdhphgpiofbb".

    Thank you!


    On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 4:57:26 PM UTC-8, Simeon Vincent wrote:
    Thanks for doing that. Hm. A week is longer than I'd expect. I'll need to reach out to review to dig more into this.

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 4:55 PM Alex Feinstein <feinste...@gmail.com> wrote:
    I replied to the first one last Monday. I replied to the second one today. I realized I only replied to you, so I resent this email.

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 4:52 PM Simeon Vincent <sim...@chromium.org> wrote:
    How long ago? I'm pretty sure there's a backlog for this type of rejection at the moment.

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 4:50 PM Alex Feinstein <feinste...@gmail.com> wrote:
    I did, for both of the rejection emails I received. I got no response.

    On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 4:41:22 PM UTC-8, Simeon Vincent wrote:
    Alex, please reply to the rejection email you received and request an appeal of the decision. 

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate


    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 4:20 PM Alex Feinstein <feinste...@gmail.com> wrote:
    I have the same issue with my extension JS Digger

    ID: ndindkkcbpmfoinihohmhdhphgpiofbb

    On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 4:09:43 PM UTC-8, Simeon Vincent wrote:
    Florian Krüsch, sorry, I misread that form. Please reply to the rejection email you received and request an appeal of the decision. 

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 3:24 PM Simeon Vincent <sim...@chromium.org> wrote:
    Mark Dostie, It looks like the review team did not believe the current description to provide sufficient disclosure of the extensions' purpose and functionality. I'd recommend comparing your description against what publicly accessible extensions provide.

    Additionally, please note that value you provide in the description field of your manifest.json appears at the top of your web store listing in bold. At the moment your CWS description and manifest.json description are very similar. You can treat your manifest description as an intro and use the CWS description to jump straight into more detailed information.

    Marc Font, I think there may have been a misunderstanding. Please republish your extension.

    Florian Krüsch, please use this form to appeal your rejection.

    Jason Savard, I think there may have been a misunderstanding. Please republish your extension.

    Cheers,

    Simeon - @dotproto
    Extensions Developer Advocate

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 2:50 PM Jason Savard <jason...@gmail.com> wrote:
    Same here ID: oeopbcgkkoapgobdbedcemjljbihmemj
    ps. I replied to the email but not response after several days now.

    On Sunday, 19 January 2020 12:41:30 UTC-5, Glen Allsopp wrote:
    Hi Simeon and everyone else.

    My recently-approved extension is off to a great start with over 100 installations after a very soft launch.

    I have tried to update the extension and make it a little faster - literally making an absolutely tiny change - and now the update is being rejected for "Spam and Placement in the Store".

    Here were the specific warnings given, with my responses:

    Do not post repetitive content.

     - We somehow had two versions of the app in the store (I don't know how since I never created a new listing), but this has been resolved before the rejection so I don't know what this can be.

    Do not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the store, or manipulate any Product ratings or reviews, by unauthorized means, such as fraudulent installs, paid or fake reviews or ratings, or offering incentives to rate Products.

     - Definitely have not done this. We don't have a single review.

    Do not post an app if the primary functionality is to link to a website not owned by the developer posting the app.

     - The primary function is to see the SEO-elements of a web page. Many extensions with tens of thousands of users to the same.

    Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to install or launch another app, theme, or extension. For example, you cannot post an app if its primary function is to launch a desktop app that the user has already installed. Another example of a disallowed practice would be to post a packaged app that just launches a website.

     - Not us.

    Your app must comply with Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines.

     - I don't know what this could refer to but we're literally just highlighting SEO elements on a page. 

    **

    ID: pfjdepjjfjjahkjfpkcgfmfhmnakjfba

    Simeon, I am jealous of your forever-animated Twitter profile pic.

    Any help would be much appreciated. 

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    Dmitry Artamoshkin

    unread,
    Jan 31, 2020, 11:12:12 AM1/31/20