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    Amazon A9 Algorithm vs. A10: Amazon Algorithm 101 for Product-Ranking Success

    September 14, 2023
    8 minute read
    Amazon A9 Algorithm vs. A10: Amazon Algorithm 101 for Product-Ranking Success

    Small businesses on Amazon sell an average of 7,800 products per minute every day — or 4.1 billion products per year — according to Amazon. These numbers represent a massive opportunity for online brands if they can capture customer attention.

    For most consumers, their Amazon journey starts with a search.

    Brands that appear in the top search results are significantly more likely to drive user interaction. Just 0.63% of searchers clicked on links from the second page, according to a study of Google search results by search engine optimization (SEO) publication Backlinko.

    It’s worth fighting for a spot on the first page and putting in the work to stay on top. In practice, this starts with an understanding of Amazon’s algorithm, how Amazon A9 compares to Amazon A10, and what companies can do to rise in search rank. 

    What Is the Amazon Algorithm — and How Does it Work?

    The Amazon search algorithm, currently on version A10, is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven tool that ranks products based on specific factors. The algorithm uses a combination of machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to determine which products are shown on the first page of search results and which are relegated to second (or third, or fourth) pages.

    For example, the Amazon algorithm can use NLP to determine what users are searching for and which stores best align with the intention of their search.

    Consider four customers looking for a new office desk, each with a slightly different approach: one searches for “office desk,” one for “work desk,” one for “computer desk,” and the last for “work table.” 

    Using AI-driven NLP, the algorithm can determine that all four customers are searching for the same general category and display the top-ranked results based on these criteria. 

    What Is the Amazon A9 Algorithm?

    Up until 2021,  the Amazon A9 Algorithm was used, which was similar in function to Google’s but with one important difference: It put a strong emphasis on sales conversions. 

    This shift means that search results on Amazon and Google could look significantly different — even for similar products. 

    For example, Google’s results are largely based on relevance, content, and engagement. If webpages contain up-to-date information that’s regularly refreshed and drives user interest, they earn higher search rankings. 

    Amazon’s algorithm, however, prioritizes sales volume because Amazon takes a percentage of all sales made on the site. Brands with better conversion statistics see better search rankings. 

    What Is the Amazon A10 Algorithm?

    The Amazon A10 search algorithm is the company’s newest version. It uses factors such as front-end keywords, back-end keywords, customer reviews, sales velocity, conversion rates, seller authority, and click-through rates to rank and display products. These factors are all called signals because they collectively indicate interest in products and their likelihood of purchase. 

    Along with conversion rate, two other factors are critical for search rank success. First is product visibility. Brands with more visible products — often those who use Amazon's pay-per-click advertising for product placement — are ranked more highly than less visible brands. Search terms also play a role. Ad campaigns with keywords that match user searches are more highly ranked.

    What Is the Difference Between the Amazon A9 Algorithm and Amazon A10 Algorithm?

    The biggest difference between the Amazon A9 algorithm and the Amazon A10 algorithm is the addition of external signals or data that don’t come from Amazon itself.

    Both the Amazon A9 Algorithm and A10 algorithm use internal signals such as sales history, conversion rates, and relevant keywords to determine search rankings, but A10 also takes off-site data into account. For example, A10 looks at off-site source traffic and sales, along with social media mentions, to determine product relevancy and engagement. 

    In addition, A10 considers seller authority. 

    Authority is measured using factors, such as feedback rating, how long businesses have been selling products on Amazon, and how well returns are handled. Higher authority equals higher search rankings.

    3 Top Tips for Brands To Get to the Top of Shopping Searches

    Getting to the top of shopping searches is no easy task. Here are three tips to help boost A10 search rankings.

    1. Create Compelling Product Pages

    Great product pages engage customers and keep them coming back. But what does a great product page look like

    According to Salsify research, high-quality images and product descriptions are critical factors in capturing consumer interest and driving purchase decisions. Also important is complete and relevant information — more than 40% of customers from Great Britain, the U.S., France, and Germany won’t buy products if information is scarce or incomplete.

    2. Think Outside the Site

    As noted above, the A10 algorithm considers social media interactions. This consideration means it’s worth taking the time to create social media content that both immediately engages users and drives traffic to Amazon product pages.

    3. Don’t Rest on Your Laurels

    A10 won’t be the last iteration of the Amazon search algorithm. This continual evolution means it’s not enough to create product pages that meet current criteria — brands need to regularly review and refresh their content to ensure it meets consumer expectations. It’s also worth tracking both search and purchasing trends to stay ahead of changing market conditions. 

    Getting an A+ on A10

    While competition is fierce for first-page spots on Amazon searches, understanding the A10 algorithm can help brands better position and showcase their products to drive higher rankings and improve sales conversions.

    This starts with compelling product pages — content that engages consumers and stands out from the crowd. It continues with off-site efforts such as targeted advertising and social media engagement and stays the course with continual efforts to refresh and update content.

    The Amazon Opportunity

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    Written by: Doug Bonderud

    Doug Bonderud (he/him) is an award-winning writer with expertise in ecommerce, customer experience, and the human condition. His ability to create readable, relatable articles is second to none.

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