Amazon’s Search Algorithm: How Does It Work?

A few of the most frequently asked questions we get from sellers on Amazon are “How does the Amazon search algorithm work?” and “How can we improve our placement on the search results page?”. 

It’s no secret that the higher your product is on the search page, the more likely you are to get potential customers to view your Amazon product pages. The majority of customers never make it past the first page of the search results on Amazon, and a good portion of people won’t even make it past the first few products (I’m guilty of this, too). 

There are many factors that the Amazon search algorithm takes into consideration when trying to match search queries to products. The most obvious factors are how applicable the products are to your search as well as your item’s pure sales velocity. You can see below how Amazon does a good job of gathering products, even when it comes to specific searches. If you want to see red shoes, you will get red shoes at the top of the search results.

Outside of Sponsored Product Ads, which are likely bidding high on broad terms, Amazon tends to do a good job of having accurate matches on their search results page. For those wondering, the Amazon search algorithm does have some comparable traits to the Google search algorithm. The area where they dissect is that Amazon is 100% product-focused, whereas with Google, people could be searching for anything. 

It is important to remember how much Amazon values the customer experience. Amazon takes ratings and reviews into heavy consideration, but they also want to see great ratings and reviews across your entire catalog. The likelihood of customers returning to your brand is also a major factor when it comes to Amazon’s search algorithm and how it prioritizes products. Seller Feedback is one of the most heavily weighted elements that the Amazon search algorithm takes into consideration as well.

There are a few aspects of the search algorithm that often get overlooked by sellers on Amazon, some of which are more related to the brand than the individual products. When we see a downturn in sales, it can often be linked back to inventory. It is very important to keep products in stock as much as possible.

Outside of keeping close tabs on inventory and valuing the customer experience, most of my advice on improving your ranking on the search page is to optimize your product detail pages. When crafting your product title and bullet points, you need to do so with a heavy focus on SEO. The top sellers on Amazon, like Sony, for example, lean heavily into longer titles and bullet points to cover any feature a customer might be searching for.

Even though it’s not always the easiest or straightforward, if you want your product to climb up the search rankings, you need to play the “Amazon Game.” Some sellers think that shorter titles and bullet points can work fine because the customer just wants the big picture and is unlikely to read through everything. Whether or not everything you put on the product page is viewed by the customer, the title and bullet points are a great place to use SEO-friendly keywords that can catch the eye of the search algorithm and the customer. 

Amazon’s algorithm also tends to favor products that have multiple high-quality images and videos included on the product page. A+ Content is another factor that is taken into consideration. Sellers should be doing everything they can to build out their product pages and following Amazon’s recommendations to do so in order to fully utilize all of the content opportunities provided by Amazon. Do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to the tools Amazon gives you to optimize your product pages. 

Another element we have seen have a heavy influence on a product’s ranking is doing what you can to drive external traffic to Amazon product pages. Amazon has a variety of tools to help drive traffic to their site, such as the Amazon Influencer Program, as well as opportunities to drive traffic via your brand’s social media and promo codes.

To summarize, the Amazon search algorithm takes many factors into consideration when it comes to ranking products on the site. The most important elements to consider are sales velocity and the relevance to the customer search term. The search algorithm also values product pages that are fully built out with high-quality images, videos, and A+ Content, as well as sellers that have good ratings. 

Overall, Amazon is always looking to provide a great customer experience for their customers. Products that have generated external traffic also tend to perform better due to Amazon’s heavy reliance on driving off Amazon traffic to their sites. Lastly, if you are looking for ways to climb up the search page, make sure you are doing everything you can to build out the product page, from optimizing the title and bullet points with SEO-friendly terms to including as much engaging content as possible. 

As you can see, there are numerous factors that come into play when it comes to Amazon’s algorithm and how it ranks products. By following the above best practices and focusing on the best possible experience for the customer, you will be utilizing all of the tools at your disposal to improve your product ranking on Amazon and boost your brand’s overall presence on the platform.

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