Amazon SEO: The Amazon A10 search engine and how it works

Google is no longer king when it comes to product searches. Today, 74% of U.S. consumers begin their product searches on Amazon, according to Jungle Scout, and more than half (56%) say they would buy from Amazon if they were only allowed to buy products from a single store.

That’s a lot of money being thrown Amazon’s way. A large part of that success is due to the search engine algorithm that’s hard at work in the background: A10.

Amazon’s A10 algorithm is at the core of Amazon’s superb user experience. Keep reading for a breakdown of how A10 works and how to get your ASINs ranking on the first page of eCommerce’s most popular search engine.

What is Amazon’s A10 algorithm?

A10 (formerly called A9) works much like Google’s algorithm. It analyzes a variety of signals to determine if a product matches what a buyer is looking for based on his/her query in the search bar.

Unlike Google, however, A10’s primary focus is to encourage a sale. It factors in signals that best indicate if a product is relevant to the user and will deliver a positive buying experience — after all, Amazon’s claim to fame is its obvious obsession over the customer experience.

These signals now include:

  • Seller authority – seller feedback, account performance, Buy Box win rate, etc.
  • Click-through rate – how often your product is clicked on
  • Organic sales – sales generated by organic listings of your product
  • PPC sales – sales generated by your Amazon PPC campaigns.
  • Off-site sales – sales on your Amazon listing from external traffic
  • Internal sales – sales from things like Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” box
  • Conversion rate – how often a visit to your listing ends up in a sale
  • Impressions – how often your products show up anywhere on Amazon.com

The practice of getting your products to rank high on Amazon is more broadly referred to as Amazon SEO (short for “search engine optimization”). It’s something every Amazon seller must invest in to maximize their sales on the channel.

Amazon A10 vs. A9

A10 was released in December 2020 as an update to the A9 algorithm. It signaled a big shift in how rankings on Amazon are now handled. The biggest change: A10 prioritizes products that are relevant, as opposed to those that are more profitable (via vehicles like Amazon PPC).

A10 also looks at dozens more variables with varying weight. It’ll look at everything from stock availability to catalog breadth to seller feedback, scanning for products that have a positive track record.

The implication is that the longer you’ve been on Amazon, the better chance you have at ranking, according to one source that additionally noticed a major drop in Amazon PPC traffic after the algorithm update. The change represents a renewed focus on actual buyer behaviors, as opposed to an emphasis on what sellers insist buyers want.

How to optimize your product listings for Amazon SEO

So, what steps can you take to get your ASINs on the front pages of Amazon? Here are some quick tips to get you started.

Create detailed product listings

Accuracy is key to ensuring your customers are satisfied with their purchases. Whether you’re writing your product title or tweaking your description, make sure you paint an accurate picture of your product. Avoid waxing poetic and focus on providing detailed copy that prevents returns caused by claims such as “item description was inaccurate.”

Descriptions, images, and A+ Content can additionally showcase the correct use of your product as well as its true size.

Apart from this, you’ll want to include advanced product attributes when setting up your listing. Go beyond the handful of basic requirements and include optional descriptors, like material or special features that matter to your everyday customer. If, for instance, you sell skincare, it may be worth mentioning that your lotion is great for sensitive skin.

Each of these efforts can help boost conversions, collect more positive feedback, and reduce returns.

Build your credibility

To meet A10’s seller authority criteria, your customer service needs to be top-notch. Answer customer questions promptly and don’t delay in shipping orders or handling any order-related issues.

If there’s an issue with an order, communicate that with your buyers right away. (If you’re part of the large majority of Amazon sellers who leverage FBA, then FBA will handle customer service for you.)

Keep an eye out for frequently asked questions, too. Those can always be addressed within your listing itself if you notice the same concerns being expressed repeatedly.

Once you’ve completed an order, take advantage of Amazon’s “Request a Review” button to remind customers to leave a review. Alternatively, Amazon’s Vine Program can help you beef up reviews on new or slow-moving products.

Promote your products

Increase off-site sales and overall conversions using cross-channel promotions. As noted earlier, Amazon likes to see your product discovered by buyers even outside of its own platform. Its A10 algorithm will notice if you use social media ads or Google ads to drive more traffic to your ASIN.

“By giving greater search priority to products that drive traffic to Amazon from outside sources, the Amazon A10 algorithm update is Amazon’s means of taking aim at competing eCommerce marketplaces,” says one source.

While Amazon PPC reportedly carries less weight on your rankings with the most recent algorithm update, it’s still a valuable means for earning your first sales or inducing more clicks on your listing. Experiment with a mix of Amazon and non-Amazon promotions to drive more traffic to your products.

Wrapping up — Keep A10 top of mind to build listings that convert

A10 has a direct impact on your product’s success on Amazon. Take some time to understand how it works and apply the above tips to keep your listings on your customers’ radars.