Amazon algorithm: discover what it is and how it works

Have you ever heard of the Amazon search algorithm and how it works? In this article, I’m going to explain what it is, how it works, and why it has become now the ultimate platform that every company or seller looking to increase their sales and revenue cannot do without.

This marketplace is currently so crucial because it offers global resonance to your sales activity, which can potentially grow exponentially. Combined with a structured logistics system, this factor is closely linked to the ability to refer to a well-known and solid brand that can guarantee significant visibility.

The skills needed to use this platform and start a successful business require targeted training, such as Digital Coach®’s Amazon Selling Course. Thus, to make the best and most effective use of this resource, we must consider it as a true search engine, regulated and governed by an ever-evolving and changing algorithm.

So, in this article, you are going to learn about:

  • the essence and functionality of the Amazon Algorithm
  • the importance of positioning and the ranking factors that influence it
  • how to improve your optimization strategy on these platforms.

What is Amazon’s algorithm?

The complex system of the Amazon Algorithm is used by this platform’s engine to organize and provide a specific result to users looking to make a purchase. Typically, when a user enters the platform, they are interested in a specific product and enter its name in the search box, or less commonly, they arrive via the categories found in the page menu. It is during this phase that the Amazon Algorithm organizes the results to provide the user with precise criteria, closely related to the relevance of the search to be conducted.

Unlike what happens on a traditional e-commerce platform, on Amazon, the Algorithm is the pivot around which companies must build their strategy, as it is no longer enough to upload products and let the market determine their fate.

Amazon SEO vs. Google SEO

To better understand the Amazon Algorithm’s operation, we must consider that Amazon is a true search engine, just like Google, but specifically designed for the e-commerce sector. In recent years, the number of buyers making their purchases on e-commerce sites has increased significantly, making online markets the primary channel for digital marketing, and above all, positioning Amazon as Google’s main competitor. The rise of this platform has increasingly pushed companies and digital companies to hire SEO Marketing professionals, who have undergone a phase of significant transition, moving from trying to excel in Google searches to seeking new resources to rank among the top Amazon Queries.

amazon seo algorithm

This significant digital shift from one platform to another has forced SEO specialists to acquire new skills, focusing on the complex operation of the Amazon Algorithm. The assumption from which they started to better understand the intrinsic differences between the two platforms is based on the fact that Google was founded to create a repository of mainly academic and scientific information, universally accessible to the masses.

Amazon’s founder, on the other hand, Jeff Bezos, approached his work with a completely different mindset, as he intended to create a revenue model aimed at providing buyers with a Marketplace where they could find every product targeted at the lowest possible price. With this necessary premise, it is clear that the Google Algorithm and the Amazon Algorithm respond to two completely different business models, where the former, through research and language analysis, aims to provide the most accurate results to the user’s query, while the latter strives to be as accurate and close as possible to the consumer’s Query.

It is based on this information that SEO professionals have understood that they could not start studying the Amazon Algorithm without first identifying the main differences that governed and influenced the two worlds but rather required the development of new skills by those in the field. Let’s see together what the fundamental differences are:

  • a new approach to keywords: Google has always relied mostly on long-tail queries, composed of multiple words forming a phrase and contained in texts and meta tags. Amazon, on the other hand, has users who use single and short keywords to classify pages more accurately because they are looking for precise products.
  • different frequency: unlike Google, where the more related words there are about the query, the more the algorithm rewards effectiveness, the Amazon Algorithm values targeted searches, i.e. single keywords.
  • short content: Amazon is characterized by the presence of short text content providing specific product information, while Google directs users to much more detailed content.
  • external linking: for Google, being linked to high-importance sites represents better positioning in search results; for Amazon, this is not influential, as the text should focus solely on the target product.
  • click vs. conversion: Google’s Algorithm is designed to weigh the number of site visitors and the time spent on the site. The higher these factors, the better the site ranks. The Amazon Algorithm assigns better positioning based on the number of conversion rates, i.e., how many times a given product is purchased.
  • a different positioning price: currently, effectively positioning yourself on Amazon implies having a substantial budget to start an SEO campaign, whereas, for Google, it is certainly more manageable.

Now that we have understood the main elements that distinguish the two algorithms, let’s see what the true nature of the Amazon Algorithm is and how it has evolved.

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The A9 Algorithm

The A9 algorithm, commonly known as the Amazon A9 algorithm, is a search-ranking algorithm used by Amazon to determine how products are displayed in search results and product listings on their e-commerce platform. This algorithm helps consumers find what most appropriate materials for their research questions play an important role. It considers a variety of factors to rank products, including relevance, sales speed, customer reviews and ratings, price, execution style, seller performance, click-through rate (CTR), and the nature of the objects. Amazon frequently updates this algorithm to improve customer experience and achieve its business goals.

The A10 Algorithm

As mentioned earlier, the importance of the Amazon Algorithm is fundamental, whether it’s a company, a business on its own, or drop shipping. The success of selling your products is directly proportional to positioning as high as possible on the buyer’s results page. 

This is where the Amazon A10 Algorithm comes into play, the direct successor of the previous A9 Algorithm, which officially went into operation from 2004 to 2019.

The birth of this new algorithm, however, did not bring significant structural changes to the operation of the previous one since both are based on the same ranking factors; the differentiating element is the importance given to these factors. The A10 Algorithm is focused on converting site visitors into actual buyers, with the natural achievement of business objectives. Anyone looking to start a business on the Amazon platform must consider that there are mainly three actors who, based on their behavior and strategy, influence the Amazon Algorithm.

  1. the buyer: who has a need that can only be satisfied with an active action, namely, purchasing a product.
  2. the seller: whose goal is to sell their product and effectively meet consumer demands.
  3. Amazon: through its platform and algorithm, it aims to earn commissions from the purchase and sale process.

How does the Amazon algorithm work?

To better understand the operation of the Amazon Algorithm, it must be assumed that it is constantly changing, and companies and entrepreneurs cannot leave the success and visibility of the reference product to chance. The display of content on the platform is not guaranteed, so there is no guarantee that a company’s or individual seller’s target products will be shown in the Amazon SERP because the Algorithm produces specific results according to its specific parameters.

There is an exception only for cases of Amazon-registered trademarks, i.e., partnerships that allow brand product sellers to have more authority among the results of a query. Apart from this scenario, what companies and individual sellers can do is work on factors they can actively control, such as a thorough analysis of the competition and, especially, an analysis of certain parameters that significantly influence positioning.

Positioning and ranking factors

So we have seen how it is essential for E-commerce owners to actively work on the concept of positioning to increase the sale of their products and, consequently, the final turnover. You can act internally, i.e. by organizing SEO optimization campaigns through improvements related to the company’s strategy and structural characteristics, or externally, by assessing the external market, competition, and customer actions. Let’s analyze the fundamental internal elements to consider for better positioning:

  • warehouse availability: optimal indexing on the sales page for the Amazon Algorithm occurs when the reference products are available in the warehouse, particularly focusing on this aspect when you don’t have your warehouse but rely on Amazon’s.
  • SEO optimization: when creating the product page on the platform, you need to carefully research the keywords to include in the title, description, and Back-end keywords to maximize results.
  • click-through rate: a parameter closely related to the number of clicks and impressions a particular product receives from site visitors, the higher it is, the more the Amazon Algorithm values it. To fully leverage this indicator’s potential, you need to create synergy between Keywords closely related to searches, a competitively priced product that’s not too high, and finally, a good image that reveals the product’s characteristics.
  • conversion rate: the ratio between your product’s views by visitors and the actual sales made; in this case too, precise focus on Keywords related to your product and a high-quality image are the perfect mix to encourage conversion.
  • the sales history: Amazon’s algorithm indexes the product based on the keywords entered in the sales listing and the sales generated for each of them. The platform utilizes the Best Seller Rank, which is an indicator that ranks products based on their sales, making it essential for companies or individual sellers to carefully choose keywords.

amazon algorithm ranking

After seeing what the internal elements are that we can work on for better positioning, let’s look at the external resources to our business or entrepreneurial reality:

  • competitor analysis: this principle is the basis of any marketing strategy. Continuous monitoring of competitors’ platforms provides information about the layout of images and descriptions of the most interesting products for users.
  • consistently monitor customer feedback: every well-done product listing has a rating and liking scale for the products included. Customers can express their appreciation or complaints through this scale. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain communication with users, assist them in case of any issues, keep the warehouse stocked, and confirm shipment with a summary email.
  • promote your listings outside of Amazon: leverage alternative advertising channels for your business through Social Media, blogs, and, especially, by collaborating with Influencers who can positively influence the visibility of your product.

A good marketing strategy combines a series of actions on internal and structural factors of the selling activity, continuous customer profiling, and good customer service.

Optimizing for better Amazon search

At this point, we have understood that the synergy between offering a particular product and the potential customer’s interest in it is the basis for building a successful marketing strategy.

However, the first step to ensure this process is conversion, i.e., attracting the customer to a particular product and then completing the purchase. Online consumers use search engines to reach the desired product, in this case, Amazon’s search engine, which has a significant sales history and can provide precise and accurate indicators.

amazon algorithm optimization

Here, planning an SEO campaign becomes crucial, especially in choosing specific Keywords that align with the language used by buyers in searching for the desired product, in a way that enables them and the complexity of the Amazon algorithm to understand what it’s about.

This research is anything but simple because you must avoid altering the readability and easy understanding of the Keywords. Assuming that the Amazon Algorithm is not known in any way, the use of Keyword Tools is indispensable because they provide fundamental parameters for effective SEO work, including search volume, Longtail Keywords, and competitor products.

For an e-commerce business or seller, it can be challenging to navigate the web as it presents a myriad of different tools, which can sometimes be ineffective and not practical in practice. An e-commerce activity must first make a choice based on its needs and requirements, analyzing the market niches in which it operates and the type of campaign to launch. All of this must automatically take into account the company’s budget and the linguistic knowledge of SEO experts, as many tools are in foreign languages and can be costly.

 

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Conclusion

We have gained a specific overview of the world of e-commerce sales, whether it is of a corporate or entrepreneurial nature. We started with an initial differentiation between the Amazon Algorithm and the Google Algorithm to help the reader understand the starting points for launching an SEO campaign. After describing the nature of the Amazon Algorithm, we explained its characteristics, along with the concept of positioning and related ranking elements. Finally, we emphasized the importance of tools and the careful selection to choose the one that best suits our needs. Only through the direct synergy between an SEO expert who maximizes all ranking factors and optimally uses Keyword Tools can we ride the wave of global sales, Amazon, and e-commerce.

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