Deconstructing Amazon's Ecommerce Search Engine

While Google asks “What results most accurately answer the searcher's query?” Amazon asks: “What product is the searcher most likely to buy?”

Remembering this will help search professionals optimize content in Amazon much more easily, Lorna Franklin, senior digital marketing specialist at Walks, explains in a blog post she wrote while working as an SEO specialist at Wolfgang Digital.

The detailed post compares and contrasts Amazon's and Google's algorithms. Amazon's A9 algorithm is designed to sell products through the marketplace. Google's algorithm is designed to help people find information.

Sales velocity is the “secret” ingredient behind Amazon's A9 algorithm, Franklin writes. She defines it as the “speed and volume” at which products sell on Amazon's marketplace.



Amazon's rankings are tied to driving revenue through sales velocity. Google's rankings are based on optimizing websites to drive click-through in search engine results.

Working to increase conversion rates on Amazon is the key to higher organic rankings. Amazon's conversion rates have a direct impact on where products rank. These tell Amazon's algorithm which products are most likely to sell once they hit the first page, she explains.

Price, which is only one factor in ranking high, has a major impact on where products rank in search results on Amazon because its algorithm is designed to predict which products are most likely to convert.

Product listings must be treated as product pages on a website, always optimizing the content. Titles must remain user-friendly -- including the most important keywords at the front -- and provide just enough information to entice clicks.

Marketers should analyze trending questions in similar products and use bulleted points in the copy to answer them because more than half of shoppers say they read the full description of a product when considering a purchase -- and test the images, which can power the listing.

Franklin also explains that “A9 still relies heavily on keyword matching to determine the relevance of a product to searcher's query, which is why this is a core pillar of Amazon SEO.”

And all this may be important when it comes to ranking. Franklin's post points to customer reviews as “one of the most important Amazon ranking factors. In fact, reviews help to drive conversion rates and keyword relevance, specifically for long-tail terms."

This column was previously published in the Search Insider on September 3, 2019.
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