How Amazon's A9 Algorithm Ranks Your Products To First Page Results

When Amazon first launched their A9 algorithm in 2004, SEO was still in its relative infancy. Today it’s a relatively sophisticated tool estimated in generating nearly $80 billion in revenue.

But while SEO remains a primary focus for any industry, few know just how A9 differs. That’s largely because it’s Amazon’s proprietary algorithm. And Amazon is nothing if not secretive about proprietary solutions.

Naturally, you want to land first page results on Amazon. And A9 is just one of the secrets on how to get there. But how does it work? And how does A9 differ from other indexing engines?

What Is A9?

Many people often forget that while Amazon is a digital marketplace (historically, the most successful one), it also functions as a search engine. It may be more limited in results than Google or Bing, but it’s still a search based platform—simply one which ranks results internally.

A9 is the algorithm which determines just how results are indexed and ranked on Amazon. But unlike other search engines, how those results are determined isn’t simply a question of popularity. It’s a question of sales.

How A9 Differs From Other Algorithms

One of the most significant differences between A9 and other indexing algorithms is that it can’t be used for generalized searches. You’re not going to find world news and events using A9. It strictly scans for Amazon products and Amazon products alone. In fact, 54 percent of all product searches begin on Amazon. Which means the ranking process is based on several distinct qualifying metrics. including:

  • User history.

  • Popularity on Amazon.

  • Pricing.

  • Best seller ranking.

  • Sales conversions.

  • Keyword relevancy.

  • Imaging.

And perhaps most significantly: paid traffic. Unlike SEO results you may see from Google, A9 recognizes no distinction between paid traffic and organic traffic. That’s primarily because Amazon is first and foremost a business; and as a result, listings which are intended to boost sales will naturally take top priority.

But it’s not merely sales for Amazon which drives first page results on A9. It’s the sales velocity of your product. And the higher and faster your products sell on Amazon, the higher you’ll rank on A9.

How To Improve Your Results On A9

  1. Keyword Targeting Choose only precise, high quality keywords under 250 characters. Avoid both subjective claims and time-based distinctions. Instead, focus on your product strengths and how they relate to keyword relevancy. Make certain your titles are coherent and easy to understand, with just enough information to drive customer interest.

  2. Imaging Use only high quality, relevant images with a neutral background that clearly highlights the product, not its actual use. If possible, make certain all images are mobile-friendly. We suggest a minimum of 1000x1000 pixels to ensure zoomability. Taglines, video and customized graphics can also be used to achieve optimal results.

  3. Competitive Pricing Seller pricing changes daily on Amazon; and if you’re not careful, you may find that the only reason your competitors are ranking higher is cost efficacy. Review of product listings may seem like a time consuming task. That’s because it is. But it’s also one which you need to conduct regularly if you want to ensure customer loyalty.

  4. Paid Traffic How strongly does paid traffic actually influence sales conversions? In some cases, almost 200 percent. And conversions are one of the chief cornerstones of A9. Amazon currently hosts a wide number of paid solutions that can increase your A9 visibility, including Sponsored Products, PPC and Product Display Ads which can help boost your results from the last page to first— faster than you could even imagine.  


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