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Amazon Search Suppressed: Tips to Avoid It and How to Fix It If It Happens

This is a guest post from Rachel Hoover. As Customer Education Manager at eComEngine, Rachel helps Amazon sellers connect with their customers and manage their seller reputations. She is committed to helping each seller find the right email strategy to improve feedback ratings, gain product reviews, and enhance customer service.

If you notice a sudden, significant drop in sales for one of your Amazon listings, you might be experiencing search suppression. This means shoppers can’t find your listing in search results, so they aren’t buying it. An Amazon search suppressed listing is a crucial issue that you must identify and fix right away to keep your business healthy, especially if it affects one of your top products.

In this article, you’ll learn why Amazon sometimes suppresses listings in search results, how to know if this happens to yours, and what to do next in that instance. You’ll also receive three effective tips for preventing search suppression from occurring.

If Amazon detects something in your listing that doesn’t meet their standards, they may “hide” or suppress your listing from search results. According to Amazon, violations that can lead to your listings being Amazon search suppressed include:

  • The listing is missing required information, such as images, category, price per unit, or other details needed for the specific product category.
  • The listing title is too long (more than 80 characters for apparel, shoes, and luggage, and more than 130 characters for all other categories).

While a buyer can technically purchase an Amazon search suppressed item if they happen to have a direct link to the listing, most shoppers start their buying journeys with a general search. Unless you have an enormous fan base of existing customers who’ve bookmarked your listings for future purchases, a search-suppressed item won’t move well.

How do you know when your listings has been Amazon search suppressed?

Listings can be Amazon search suppressed silently; unless you’re paying close attention, you may not realize right away that Amazon has done it.

In Seller Central, you can find out whether you have any search-suppressed listings by taking the following steps:

  1. Click the menu icon at the top left of Seller Central.
  2. Hover over Inventory.
  3. Choose Manage All Inventory.
  4. On this page, click the button for more options to filter your products by “Search Suppressed.”

You can also click Search Suppressed and Inactive Inventory at the top of the screen to go to the Fix Your Products page.

Rather than checking this every day, many sellers find it helpful to set up alerts for whenever a listing is Amazon search suppressed. Although Amazon doesn’t offer these notifications, third-party alerting tools like SellerPulse by eComEngine do. They’re designed to keep your listings healthy and so help preserve your sales.

How do you fix an Amazon search suppressed listing?

Amazon’s process for remedying search suppression is pretty straightforward: On the Fix Your Products page in Seller Central, Amazon displays why they suppressed the listing and provides recommended steps to fix it. For example, next to an Amazon search suppressed listing, you might see a button that says “Correct invalid product information.” Clicking it takes you to the page where you can update the listing details.

Once you make the required changes, wait 24 hours, then check the Fix Your Products page again. Sometimes, a single listing has more than one issue, and Amazon will guide you to fix the issues one at a time until they’re eliminated. If the product will then disappear from the Fix Your Products page, which indicates it’s once again active and viewable in search results.

You can also receive an alert when your listing returns to an Active status, which saves you some time and hassle. With a solution like SellerPulse supporting you, there’s no need to log back in to Seller Central to see whether the listing has disappeared from the page; your chosen tool will let you know as soon as it’s cleared.

The simplest way to avoid listings being Amazon search suppressed is to follow all of Amazon’s listing guidelines and recommendations. However, the below tips are especially helpful at preventing this issue:

  • Verify you’ve included all necessary information: For example, Amazon requires that child listings (variations) in the Shoes category must have department, size, and color inputs. Child listings in the Jewelry category (except for accessories), meanwhile, must have department, material type, metal type, gem type, and pearl type inputs. If these values are missing or invalid, Amazon will suppress the listing.
  • Include several high-quality images that align with Amazon’s image policies: Images should be 500 to 10,000 pixels on the longest side, but preferably at least 1,000 pixels to allow for zooming in without sacrificing resolution. The main image should show the product on a plain white background, with the item filling 85% of the photo. While only one image is officially required, it’s recommended to post at least three. Other images can include a lifestyle photo of the product in use or a close-up of a key feature.
  • Keep the title short but descriptive and accurate: You may be tempted to jam lots of keywords into the title to boost your listing’s discoverability, but an overly lengthy one can cause the listing to suffer from search suppression. Amazon says titles should only be up to 80 characters for apparel, shoes, and luggage categories and up to 130 characters for all others.
  • Watch out for competitors and hijackers: If another seller creates an offer based on your listing, they can typically request edits to the listing and make changes so it no longer complies with Amazon’s guidelines and becomes search suppressed. A competitor might do this by accident, or a black-hat seller could do this purposely to sabotage your sales. It’s important to watch for listing edits that you don’t make yourself. Again, alerting software like SellerPulse are excellent for this.

Also, if you have your own brand, make sure you sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry so you maintain control of your listing details.

Other issues

If you notice a steep decline in sales, but your product isn’t showing up as Amazon search suppressed on your Manage Inventory page, it might be experiencing a different issue, such as:

  • Inactive status: Listings can become inactive when they’re out of stock or they violate Amazon’s listing policies. Inactive listings will show up on the same Fix Your Products page in Seller Central, with next steps to return them to active status.
  • Buy Box suppression: Listings can sometimes remain available but have the Buy Box (or Featured Offer) removed from their detail page. Buyers then have to click “See all buying options” and select a specific offer to purchase, which causes friction and may reduce sales. This happens when none of the offers on the listing are Buy Box eligible, whether due to seller health metrics, shipping speeds, or price. Again, third-party alerting tools can let you know when this happens so you can troubleshoot and regain Buy Box eligibility.
  • Wrong category or flagged as “Adult”: Black-hat competitors can edit listings in a way that doesn’t cause full search suppression but does make the listing harder to find. For example, the item could be placed in the wrong category, or the keywords could contain conflicting information. Or, a certain detail in the listing could trigger Amazon to flag the product as “adult,” which hides it from regular search results. The “adult” flag isn’t visible in Seller Central, but third-party alerting tools can detect it through the Amazon API and let you know when it happens.

Wrapping up — Keep your Amazon listings in the spotlight

An Amazon search suppressed listing will likely lead to a dramatic decrease in sales. If you don’t address the suppression right away, it can also cause a drop in sales rank that persists even after the listing is active again.

So, it’s important to know right away when your listing is search suppressed, either by checking the Fix Your Products page at least daily and following Amazon’s suggested next steps, or by adopting software that can alert you immediately when a listing is suppressed.

However, the best option is to prevent listings from being Amazon search suppressed in the first place by reviewing and complying with Amazon’s guidelines for images, titles, keywords, and other listing elements. Be proactive to maintain your listings’ visibility and drive profitability on the Amazon marketplace.