One of the most important things you can do while selling on Amazon is to stay ahead of the search ranking algorithm.
Following the released updates on the A9 algorithm, now named A10 algorithm, comes a new set of ranking factors where Amazon is giving more focus on the consumer behavior making the search results more relevant to the buyer, meaning that users are now directed to what they’re looking for instead of what others think they should be looking for.
The A9 and A10 algorithms are explained in detail below, along with how you can use the updates on the algorithm to develop and customize your Amazon strategy to compete for a top spot on the SERP.
A9 vs A10 Algorithm
A9.com is a former Amazon branch in charge of search engine and search advertising technology, and it was credited with the A9 search algorithm. The Amazon A9 algorithm is the system that determines how products are ranked in search results. Its main goal is to help consumers in product search, ranking different brands and their products on the platform, and providing the most relevant results to consumers.
It considers keywords, content, metrics, reviews and feedback, order rates, and search items. A9 ranking is based on sales performance and history, and it considers elements like text match, relevancy, price, and stock availability.
There have been updates on the Amazon A9 algorithm being called the A10 algorithm*. The recent update has important changes in how the algorithm works: with the updated A10 algorithm, Amazon is focusing more on consumer behavior and making sure the customer experience is put first. While the underlying variables stayed the same, the weight of each variable has changed.
Let’s look at the new set of ranking factors that are influencing the Amazon A10 algorithm:
Seller & Vendor Authority
The updated algorithm places more weight on the seller’s authority. Improving your seller authority score will help with your product ranking and it also can increase your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Factors such as seller’s feedback rating, performance metrics, how long the seller has been active on Amazon, performance metrics, and how well did the seller handled product returns, influence seller authority on Amazon.
A large inventory and good reviews also influence the algorithm, as it assumes that you are providing good value to customers, thus your seller authority increases substantially.
Impressions from Amazon, partner sites /or affiliates will drive up organic rankings. With the new algorithm update, the more impressions you have the better your product will rank.
With this in mind, it’s important to optimize listings for target keywords, if your listing has high impressions but low CTR and conversion rates, you might see a major decrease in rankings. Focus on having a strong user experience and retail readiness on your product pages and make sure your products are placed under the right category.
CTR is the ratio of clicks a product has after being displayed on a search results page to the total number of impressions generated.
As we all know, content is king, and to boost your CTR you need to have compelling product imagery, so buyers want to click, and remember to follow up with a strong and well-written copy.
The conversion rate is the ratio of customers viewing your product to the customers who buy your product.
More images, strong titles, bullets, and product information have a direct impact on the conversion rate. Make sure the keywords you are choosing are relevant and have high traffic, providing as much relevant information as possible in your listings helps the algorithm to match your products accurately to buyer’s searches.
In the A9 algorithm, sales history had an important weight. The A10 algorithm is also influenced by your product sales history.
Amazon looks into your total sales history to rank (organically) your product on the search results page. It also takes into consideration seasonality, stock availability and sales volume to rank your products higher in the search results.
This is one of the strong factors influencing the A10 algorithm and it is prioritized over sales from PPC campaigns (e.g., Sponsored ads). For brands to keep up with this change, it’s important to implement a robust SEO strategy to maintain rankings and provide the best user experience to entice conversions.
Another noteworthy change from the A9 algorithm is the weight of PCC campaigns. Though PPC campaigns are still relevant and might create an initial spike in sales, they don’t have a high influence on your product visibility anymore.
Off-site traffic and sales
One important change in the A10 algorithm is the focus placed on non-Amazon referral traffic.
The updated algorithm is giving search priority to products driving traffic to Amazon from outside sources, this means you need to diversify your marketing spend by advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google as well as blogs and videos that link back to your Amazon listings, this will more visibility to your products and ultimately will lead to better rankings. This doesn’t mean Amazon PPC is not taking into consideration this update, it has just become less significant.
To ensure your products see a positive change in rankings, there are some things you can do to benefit from this update:
Optimize your product listings consistently
Your product listing should be optimized for your target audience. Users move through listings quickly, so you want to make sure you are using solid product images as that’s the only one customers will see on the SERP.
Ensure consistent updating and optimizing your product listing by optimizing factors such as title, bullet points, product description, product imagery with lifestyle images, and using backend search terms, this will greatly benefit your brand’s rankings and overall sales.
Check our Content & SEO Guide to know to perfect product page content that converts browsers into buyers.
Amazon’s main objective is to match users with relevant products so they’re more likely to buy. Amazon is also aware of the fact that users rely on reviews to make decisions, for this reason, positive reviews are very important and valuable for a brand, as items with a high volume of reviews rank higher than those without.
You can encourage users to leave a review by using product inserts and making use of the request a review option on Amazon. But remember, Amazon operates a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to reviewing manipulation. The best thing you can do is to familiarize yourself with Amazon’s reviews rules by login into your Seller Central account and make sure you are following their guidelines. Some of the most important guidelines are:
- Don’t offer free products in exchange for reviews. The only exception is if you’re part of the Amazon Vine program.
- Don’t offer money, a product, a discount, or a promotion in exchange for a review
- Don’t accept unverified reviews
Prioritize external traffic
While many shoppers start their product search out on Amazon, competing marketplaces are winning in Google search results. To start moving up in Google search results, Amazon is encouraging sellers to prioritize external links and non-Amazon traffic.
Developing a strategy to drive external traffic will help you increase sessions and sales by focusing on building high-quality organic traffic and leveraging websites that have high domain authority.
If you’re after a solid way to drive external traffic to your Amazon listings, you should use the Amazon affiliate and influencer programs to uplift you, as well as Amazon Attribution to track traffic.
Analyze your competitors
Use your competition as a learning tool to understand how competitors are listing and promoting their products, the type of reviews they are receiving, which keywords they are focusing on, and the customer complaints they are getting so you can be the winning solution.
This knowledge will help you to develop best practices and opportunities for your brand.
The A10 algorithm aims to increase visibility for listings with authentic reviews and sales so as long as you take the time to optimize for the new set of ranking factors you will be able to increase your overall performance and bring unlimited traffic to your products page.
*Amazon has yet to make a statement about whether they have indeed changed the name of the algorithm.