How the Amazon A9 Algorithm Works

How the Amazon A9 Algorithm Works

The A9 algorithm is the method by which Amazon ranks products in search results. It works similarly to Google's algorithm, analyzing keywords to determine how relevant a particular result is for those keywords and therefore where it will be included in the results list.

One advantage the Amazon algorithm has is that people come to Amazon when they want to buy something. This makes the A9 algorithm's job more straightforward: all it has to do is accurately provide the products that customers are looking for. A search for an author's name, for example, just needs to find their books, rather than determining whether the query is actually for biographical information or news articles.

Simply put, all searches on Amazon are commercial, so the goal of the algorithm is to show the results that will increase Amazon's sales and profit margins.

The effect of this is cumulative: products that rank well in search results get more traffic and thus more sales. Products that get more sales also get ranked more highly. This can make ranking well in the first place as a new seller feel very difficult, but optimizing listings is a critical piece of the puzzle.

So, let's talk about how to optimize your listings to get the rankings you're looking for. These are things you'll want to get in place before your listings even go live. You don't have direct control over rankings or sales, but you have control over these optimization factors, so don't neglect them as you prepare your listings.

Product Detail Text

Amazon Seller Central gives a basic explanation of what its algorithm looks for: “Amazon matches [keyword searches] against the information (title, description, and so on) that you provide for a product.” Include the relevant keywords for your product in the title and description. 

how amazon algorithm works

Backend Keywords

Along with the information that the customers can see on your product page, you can also add “hidden” keywords to your products with backend keywords, which do a lot to help optimize your search results. These are limited to less than 250 bytes, and are where you should include high-ranking long-tail keywords, any keywords that you weren't able to use in your title or description, and other relevant terms that may not fit in your customer-facing information.

Bullet Points

Your Amazon listing includes up to five bullet points, which you should make use of to highlight the most important features of your product, including the most relevant keywords. These bullet points will draw your prospective buyers' attention, and they're also important for search optimization. Make sure they're easy to read while also containing important keywords for the algorithm.

how amazon algorithm works

Product Images and Video

Images aren't directly relevant to the algorithm, since it only looks at text, but images are a huge factor in sales conversions, and the sales you get will make a difference in your search rankings. This means that having good images for your products is vital for optimizing your listings. Make sure your images capture all the important aspects of your products that the customer will want to see. Make sure that you use high-resolution images so that customers can actually get a larger 

version when they click to zoom in. If you can include a video, it's always a good idea to show the product in use.

how amazon algorithm works


While your pricing will be dependent on a lot of factors, keep in mind that better sales mean better rankings, and so competitive pricing is also a way of optimizing your listings. All other things being equal, customers of course go for the product at the lower price point, so keep that in mind if you're in a competitive niche. 


If your product has low stock or isn't available, it's not going to show up well in search results. Keep track of your sales and make sure that your products remain in stock. Adjust your inventory based on seasonal trends in order to make the most of your sales opportunities.


In general, the better your product listings are, the higher you'll rank in Amazon's search results, and the higher you rank, the more sales you'll get, which will help increase your rankings even more. Pay attention to creating high-quality listings with strong keywords that will both make your products relevant to the algorithm and appealing to customers.



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