Understanding Amazon’s A9 Algorithm

16 September 2019

Posted in: BSEO

All SEOs know one simple truth: Google rules. So why bother considering other search engines? Well, if you’re in the ecommerce business you simply cannot ignore Amazon, because it’s where most product searches start. Katherine Khoo’s talk was about how SEOs can make the most of Amazon’s A9 Algorithm.


Speaker: Katherine Khoo
Position: Managing Director
Company: Khoo Systems Limited
Twitter: @_KKhoo
LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/katherine-khoo
Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/iPagesCMS/brightonseo-katherine-khoo-understanding-amazons-a9-algorithm-10am-amazon

What was the talk about?

Katherine introduced her talk by explaining that SEOs need to adopt a different approach to Amazon than they do to Google. This is because the latter needs to establish user intent, while the former doesn’t.

So, if Amazon isn’t about user intent, does that mean that SEOs need to rip up their rulebook? Not exactly.

Some of the key optimisation tactics are pretty similar, specifically when talking about text relevancy. This means that if you want to create a product page that ranks well, you should follow these principles:

  • Create an accurate product title.
  • Include your keywords in bullet points.
  • Add in a high-quality image.
  • Make sure you have a good description.

One of the key things to keep in mind is that Amazon doesn’t like variants to be included in product titles – so if you were to say that your product is “lime green,” Amazon wouldn’t be happy with you using two variation of green.

Katherine highlighted five crucial areas that will impact your Amazon ranking, none of which is a regular Google ranking factor:

  1. Price is king – the top-ranking products are the cheapest ones.
  2. Availability – if your goods are unavailable your ranking will suffer.
  3. Sales velocity – Amazon wants items that sell consistently, not sporadically.
  4. Reviews – quantity of reviews is more important than quality.
  5. Customer convenience – items that are FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) or available on Prime rank better than those that aren’t.

Favourite quote

“Amazon is a ruthless meritocracy.”

Potential impact on the industry

Google is so important to the lives of our clients and customers that we can forget about other search engines, but we shouldn’t.

For ecommerce SEOs, Amazon is an outlet that can have a huge impact on the health of your clients’ businesses.

With these pointers from Katherine, we may see a shift of SEO energy away from Google and towards Amazon.

Key takeaways

  • Use onsite SEO tactics when creating the content for Amazon product pages.
  • Make sure products are always available and that they can be bought in the most convenient way for customers.
  • Get as many customer reviews as you possibly can!
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