Amazon SEO: Decoding the Amazon A10 Algorithm for Sellers and Vendors

27 August 2021

In 2020, more than 63% consumers started their online shopping product searches on Amazon, a trend that has been increasingly taking over search engines over the last few years. More and more customers are making Amazon their go-to shopping destination and in the same trend, sellers are increasingly joining the platform to sell their products. 

In 2020, the e-commerce giant generated about 80 billion dollars in third-party seller services, an increase of nearly 50% compared to the previous year (Statistica). Due to the fierce competition witnessed in the Amazon marketplace nowadays, sellers are required to constantly stay up to date with the rules of the game.

In order to step up your Amazon strategies, we’ve gathered the latest information to show you how to rank your products higher. Amazon has its own proprietary search algorithm, the latest update being the Amazon A10 algorithm that determines which products rise to the top of search results and as such gains most visibility and sales.

The exact algorithm ranking factors have not been disclosed by Amazon. However, based on our expertise, experience helping our Amazon clients and industry research, we have discovered factors that most correlate with winning top search positions. Playing according to Amazon’s rules of the game can significantly impact your product ranking, and consequently, your sales.

Amazon A10 – the latest algorithm update

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Amazon has rolled out the Amazon A10 algorithm update for product rankings in fall of 2020. One of the major changes of this update is going from giving top rankings to those who spend the most on sponsored advertising to now focusing on improving the customer experience and rewarding those sellers that are doing well organically, based on several factors. As can be seen in the image below, the better you have aligned your listing to Amazon A10 update, the better rankings, higher visibility and ultimately sales you can expect to have.

However, before we deep dive into A10, let’s have a look at what the Amazon A9 algorithm was based on.

Amazon A9 Algorithm – a Quick Recap

For reference it is good to revisit what were the major components of the A9 Algorithm. Amazon’s SEO works in a similar fashion to the Google search engine algorithm. However, the main difference with the A9 algorithm was that the A9 algorithm gave weight also to sales conversion. This means that the more purchases your product has made in the past, the higher your ranking was ought to be.

The A9 algorithm impacted product ranking in four direct ways:

  1. Text match relevancy
  2. Price
  3. Availability
  4. Sales Velocity

In total, 6 indirect factors are involved:

  1. Fulfillment method
  2. Reviews
  3. A+ content
  4. Images
  5. Promotions
  6. Advertising

Amazon A10 Algorithm Explained

Factors that Affect the New Amazon Algorithm

  1. Sales history – last 180 days sales, be sure to have enough stock to not to run out, otherwise it can have a big negative impact
  2. Organic sales (sales without any ads) – the most important factor
  3. Reviews
  4. Conversion Rate (CVR)
  5. Off-site sales
  6. Click-through rate (CTR)
  7. Pay-per-click (PPC) sales
  8. Impressions
  9. Internal sales
  10. Seller authority

Customer is King – More Focus on Customer Experience

With the updated A10 algorithm, even more emphasis is put on the customer experience.

Amazon A10 algorithm weighs buyer searches more strongly and with more relevance than it did in the previous version. A10 algorithm focuses on showing customers the most relevant and accurate results. Amazon’s search platform uses a text match system to match keywords with relevant product listings. In the past, its search platform may have skewed moderately towards popularity-and performance metrics, meaning Amazon favored pushing products that generated a lot of sales. 

The new A10 algorithm puts a greater significance on relevance, and matching the right product to the right search. What is important to Amazon is that the customers are happy and come back to buy again to retain customers and sustain customer satisfaction. Overall, with this update, Amazon aims to Increase user-friendliness across the platform.

Why the change from profit to consumer experience? 

Paying attention to the update is a necessity to stay relevant in the marketplace. According to Amazon, It is no longer enough to be pushing conversions.

The updated A10 algorithm now gives more importance to organic sales: these occur when a buyer purchases your product without any marketing or promotion involved. When a customer buys your product after seeing it from search results, it counts as an organic sale. The more customers are purchasing your product based on search results, the higher Amazon will rank your listing.

Discounts and promotions have become a harder way to increase your ranking. Amazon has started to downscale such listings which offer a myriad of discounts and promotions: sponsored posts are not always an answer to the buyer’s question. Furthermore, Amazon is now cracking down on listings that exhaust this strategy to boost sales. PPC also lost momentum in the A10 algorithm compared to the A9 algorithm. Since PPC ad performance has a less significant effect in ranking your products, consider reallocating some of your ad budget for off-site marketing like Facebook ads. 

Buyer reviews still play a noteworthy part in Amazon product ranking. Though it is taxing and challenging to get most of your buyers to write a review, the rewards are worth it.

Actionable steps to optimize your Amazon listings with the A10 algorithm 

Below is a list of insights that help you stay updated with the latest changes in the Amazon algorithm:

  • Put time and effort into your Amazon SEO – organic sales are now as important as ever, thus we recommend you do your best to know which search terms customers use and apply them effectively. Take into account new search term trends, as they often change even monthly.
  • Audit your product listings consistently for SEO changes
  • Build credibility through reviews and seller feedback
  • Regularly monitor your competition 
  • Place a major emphasis on driving external traffic to your Amazon Listing
    • Make sure to have good reviews as user-generated traffic has much significance outside Amazon (for Google searches).
  • Set the perfect price
    • An underpriced product can be just as skeptical as an overpriced one.

Do you want to bring your Amazon sales to the next level? Our Amazon expert team is highly skilled in services from Amazon SEO (organic), Reviews & Feedback management, PPC to any other service you might need to be successful on the highly competitive platform. Check out our Amazon Marketing & Management services page for a full overview of services we offer and reach out to us for a free consultation to learn how we can help to boost your sales on Amazon!

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