Why are some products ranked higher than others by Amazon? This frequently asked question is explained by the Amazon ranking algorithm. The algorithm decides which items best meet the customer’s needs based on a variety of factors.
What is the Amazon Ranking Algorithm?
An algorithm represents a set of instructions for solving a problem, and the Amazon product ranking algorithm consists of a number of individual factors. It is on the basis of these factors that Amazon’s artificial intelligence (AI) decides which products are most likely to be purchased when a prospective customer runs a search.
The greater the probability that a product will be bought, the higher Amazon will rank that item, in order to maximise sales. The algorithm takes into account both the behaviour of users, e.g. page views, purchases, but also the structure and content of the individual product pages.
What is the Amazon Ranking Algorithm called?
The system was developed by a company that was bought by Amazon called “A9”. That is why it is called the A9 Amazon Ranking Algorithm.
You may come across the term “A10” online. This name reflects the fact that the algorithm has already undergone several updates. Officially, however, the designation “A9” still applies.
What factors does the Amazon Ranking Algorithm take into account?
There are three key factors that influence the Amazon ranking algorithm.
Amazon measures relevance based on the number of relevant keywords on the product page, from the title to the bullet points to the product description. This helps ensure that a search for dog leashes, for example, will not generate listings of pots and pans in the search results.
Three factors have a particularly strong influence on sales performance:
- Click-through rate: If a high percentage of searchers click on a product after having seen it in the search results, it is likely that that product will rank better. An attractive cover image, an optimised title and customer reviews play a role here, as does the price.
- Conversion rate: If the page impressions, i.e. instances in which people land on a product detail page, result in lots of purchases, the better the product page will rank. Important factors here include strong unique selling propositions, a reasonable price, a well-thought-out product page and good reviews.
- Sales: The number of sales also affects the sales rank.
Optimising for these three factors increases the probability of new purchases – which in turn helps the product rank better
3. Soft factors and account factors
As a seller or vendor, you can take steps that will help improve how your products rank. This means ensuring that you perform well across the following metrics:
- Response time to questions about your product or customer messages
- Low return rate
- Fast shipping through Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
- Past sales
- Product portfolio size
- Seller ratings
- Punctual payment of invoices to Amazon
- Positive inventory
How frequently is the Amazon Ranking Algorithm updated?
There are rarely major updates at Amazon – but smaller adjustments, which are often quietly introduced by the eCommerce giant, occur far more frequently. There were major updates in October 2018, for example, with the different weighting of keyword fields, and also in May 2019, when Amazon announced that the Search Term length limit no longer included spaces and punctuation.
The changes to the Amazon ranking algorithm that were made in 2019 indicate that Amazon is very keen to ensure that the algorithm reflects consumer behaviour and maximises sales even more accurately.
Every seller or vendor has to deal with the Amazon ranking algorithm. Given the huge number of competitors with similar products, it is necessary to take advantage of the options that are available to improve your individual Amazon ranking.
By working to ensure that your products rank higher on Amazon, you can significantly increase your sales opportunities.