Amazon A10 Algorithm Update: What’s Important & What’s Not

Posted by Jimi Patel | April 7, 2020

It is said that the safest place to hide a dead body will be on the 2nd page of Google because no one goes there. Things are not different when it comes to Amazon. No one goes past Page 1 of search results. And to rank on Page 1, you will have to please Amazon’s search ranking algorithm, also known as A9 (until now). Not so surprisingly, A9 has always been a common source of concern and confusion for all the sellers. And why not, Amazon has never revealed how it chooses which product will rank and which won’t. But with trial and errors, experiments and looking at repeating correlations, sellers were now able to identify how Amazon weighs the factors affecting ranking. Here are a few things you should know about Amazon’s state-of-the-art A10 algorithm:

It Is Very Similar To A9

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Although sellers are calling the updated version of A9, A10, both are quite similar, with the only difference being that the weightage of some metrics has changed. Consumer behavior and relevancy are given more importance than ever before. The focus has shifted to providing shoppers what they were looking for rather than what sellers want them to look at. If your products convert more and sell more, you will be able to crush the competition and stand out, whether or not you are advertising.

PPC Is (Not) The Biggest Force In Keyword Ranking

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In A9, PPC was one of the most significant factors to increase your rank for your main keyword quickly. As your products get more visibility, traffic and ultimately sales for a specific keyword, the ranking of the product for that keyword was seen to increase dramatically. This is the reason why sellers focused more on aggressive PPC during and after product launch, ignoring the relevancy factors like content optimization and images. However, the updated algorithm gives more importance to product relevancy and less weightage to sales-driven from PPC sales. Although PPC is still relevant, Amazon has understood that not all customers buy a product just because they keep seeing it. They buy it because they find it relevant. Rather than advertising subpar products and giving them the coveted spot in the first line of the search result page, they think it would be best if the “most deserving listing wins the sale.”

Pro Tip: Instead of concentrating only on PPC, try to divert your marketing efforts on bringing off Amazon traffic and try to boost your product’s sellability in other ways. PPC should be a way to bring immediate hype and it should not be used as a permanent solution.

But Sales History Still Rules

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Amazon would love to dig into your past (I mean your product’s past) before deciding the ranking of your product. Have you been getting consistent sales all year long, or you have a sales gap in between? If the answer is positive, chances are higher that you might land up somewhere on page 1. If you have an ever-increasing sales graph, it means that the customers are more likely to buy your product when they see it. And so, Amazon will give it the prime position. The retail giant has also mentioned, “Factors such as degree of text match, price, availability, selection, and sales history help determine where your product appears in a customer’s search results.” So it goes without saying that sales history is, was and will always be a potent metric in increasing ranking.

Pro Tip: Always stay in stock. If your product becomes out of stock even for a week, it means that you have no sales for a week. Amazon won’t appreciate this sales gap of yours.

Organic Sales Matter The Most (Till Today):

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When a shopper searches for something, your product shows up and the shopper buys it; then, you have earned organic sales. In Amazon’s uber-competitive environment, if you have managed to make organic sales without any obvious marketing efforts, then the retail giant will take notice and reward you with a higher ranking. But, there is a vicious chain of organic sales and organic ranking: more sales = more ranking and more ranking = more sales. If your product is seen more, it will sell more and if your product is sold more, it will be seen more. So, to increase the organic ranking and sales of your product, you should optimize your listing for search and conversions both. Infuse your title, bullets, description and search terms with relevant keywords to increase the organic ranking and write an informative copy, optimize your images and create A+ Page to improve conversions and, ultimately, organic sales.

Pro Tip: Optimize your products with the help of Amazon listing optimization experts.

And Seller Authority Prevails

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A very common scenario that happens with every 3rd party seller on Amazon is that you and your competitors are selling almost similar products. To make the situation even more competitive, you both are selling at the same price as well. When such a situation arises, Amazon will look into your key performance metrics before choosing one of you as a winner. Factors such as how often you have product returns, how well you handle those returns, how long you have been selling on Amazon, have you been getting consistent sales, how many products you have in your catalog, how many positive reviews and seller feedback you have can affect your organic rankings. Having a good record on these factors can tilt the scale in your favor.

Pro Tip: Make your product catalog as varied as possible. If you sell plenty of products, Amazon thinks you have a lot to offer to your customers and you probably have a large number of reviews as well. Always staying in stock also ensures higher organic rankings.

Conversion Rates Are, Were & Will Always Be Important

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When a customer visits your product detail page and decides to buy the product, then it is considered as a conversion. Optimizing your listing for higher conversion rates is the first thing a seller should do when once he lists the product, not PPC or any other kind of marketing. Your prime focus should not only be on bringing more and more traffic to your listing, but it should also be on converting the traffic to sales; otherwise it’s of no use. In fact, if your listing has a reduced conversion rate than advertising will actually hurt your organic ranking. It should be noted that just like higher conversion rates increases organic ranking, a lower conversion rate can decrease your organic ranking.

Pro Tip: Nothing works best than optimizing your product copy, improving images, increasing reviews and creating A+ Pages for improving your conversion rates.

Apparently, More Impressions Can Bring Great Results

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Impression means how many times your product is viewed, whether it’s on Amazon or affiliate sites and partner sites. The more your product visibility is, the higher your product ranks. However, no matter how tempting it looks, it would not be right to list your products in highly competitive categories just to get more visibility. Because ultimately, if you don’t have a positive click-through-rate, no amount of visibility is going to help you rank higher. A much better practice would be to make your products visible in front of the audience who are looking for a product similar to yours.

Pro Tip: Use your best keyword and search terms to create sincere impressions that actually help bring relevant customers to your product page.

Off Amazon Traffic Has Made An Entry In The List

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It was never proved, nor officially announced by Amazon, but successful sellers did know that there is a deep connection in organic ranking and bringing off-Amazon traffic. It was always believed that Amazon rewards listing that receives external traffic by increasing its organic ranking. And as Amazon has decreased the weightage of PPC traffic for organic ranking, the traffic driven from external sources could be a way to get immediate sales boost and higher search ranking. Add your Amazon product link to your website, blog posts, social media posts and message boards to drive your ranking up. When you bring an off-Amazon customer, it means that the shopper is coming to Amazon just to but your product.

Pro Tip: Don’t drive the traffic directly to Amazon, generate a landing page that filters the shopper and brings only relevant customers to your detail page and increase conversion rates.

Relevancy Rules

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A9 used to weigh keywords on the basis of the order. The keywords in the title were given prime importance, then the keywords in the backend and then the keywords in the bullet points and description. But things seem to have changed with A10. Instead of stuffing the whole title with all the best possible keywords, you should try writing the title in a way reader understands. A well-made title will not only appeal to Amazon’s algorithm, but it will also affect your click-through rates, which is also one of the factors influencing the A10 algorithm.

Pro Tip: Craft your titles in such a way that they are readable and easy to understand.

These Two Metrics That Are Weighed Differently Now:

  • Internal Sales: These are the sales generated within the Amazon marketplace, but they are essentially not from search result pages. This includes the products bought from the ‘frequently bought together’ section. If you are selling shampoo, advertise your products in the conditioner’s detail pages as well. You can also promote your related products in the comparison chart section of your A+ Page. This is a great way to cross-sell your products. Internal sales generated like this positively affects your organic ranking.
  • Click-Through Rates: Click-through rates means the ratio of customers visiting your product detail page to the total number of impressions generated on the detail page. Great click-through rates is directly proportional to higher organic ranking. As click-through rates are directly equivalent to your tile and main image, make your title keyword-infused yet readable and make sure your main image attracts attention.

Cracking Amazon’s Algorithm Is Not A Rocket Science

Keep in mind that Amazon prioritizes its customers than anything else. To rank higher and get more sales, the only strategy you need should follow is to please your customers. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think what would compel you to buy the product. Create an excellent main image and readable title to increase click-through rates, beautify your listing with content optimization and A+ Pages to increase conversion rates. Ultimate you will get more sales and your ranking will eventually increase. As always, making your listing retail ready is the best strategy to optimize your organic rank. Contact Us, get your products optimized from Amazon Listing Optimization Experts and skyrocket your conversions and organic rankings.

Published by Jimi Patel

Jimi Patel, is a Co-founder and CEO at eStore Factory, an Amazon SPN certified agency that serves as a one-stop solution for all your Amazon business needs. Having helped countless brands increase sales and grow their footprint on Amazon, Jimi provides the most practical and effective solutions for your business. He is highly skilled in developing and executing plans that align with your specific business goals and objectives. When not working, Jimi enjoys practicing yoga and traveling to new places. He is an avid reader and enjoys staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the e-commerce industry.

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