Amazon’s A9 Algorithm In-Depth (Part 1)

Anthony (Lee) has been leading the pack since 2014 when it comes to ranking on Amazon. It has been his obsession and often break changes on what is working now.

In part one, we take a walk down memory lane and look at all the milestones, along the way. Join me in this fascinating road trip into the black box that is A9.


  • Anthony started selling on Amazon in 2014.
  • His first product sold at 40 pieces on the first day and ranked number 1 on Amazon.
  • The first change was the TOS update in Amazon.
  • It was when everything changed — it was pandemonium.
  • What they discovered: the TOS changes are implemented  to combat seller abuses that do not benefit buyers.

Dollar-Off Coupon Amounts

  •  Coupons were removed because there were products ranked on Page 1 and they never made a sale.
  • There were no dollar transacted – so the coupons were taken away and made it impossible to create free products.
  • What this told us: Amazon cares about keywords rank. Specially where it affects the buyer experience.
  • It paints the picture of how Amazon interacts with sellers and how sellers should approach their launch and promotion strategies.

Buyer Trust Score

  • We can sometimes catch a glimpse of  how Amazon algorithm works.
  • Buyers get a trust score. 
    • This is based on their buying history like how many times they leave bad reviews, or when they only buy deeply discounted items.
  • Why this matters: they can kick these bad buyers and suspend sellers who utilize these buyers who leave reviews for discounts.
  • Over-use of Amazon’s promotional channels is not against the TOS.
    • These promos give buyers a great deal. They care more about the buyer. 
  • It is easier for them to tackle issues programatically.

R-mageddon (2016)

  • This was the next major update — review services were suspended and banned the incentivised reviews.
  • Any transaction that leads to free/discounted product for positive review, was disallowed.
  • This showed us that reviews matter in ranking.
  • They wanted to show that they were serious about addressing the problem.

Characters and Language

  • Amazon played around with the characters.
  • Language was added about browser experience — super vague.
  • It does not address the action.
    • They made it known that they care about the search and browser experience.

Conversion Rate

  • This was the only most important factor– it was king.
  • In 2014, FBA started so everything was pretty new.
    • Even wish listing was important.
    • People were ranking with zero transaction.
    • Super URLs were also working because the platform was not yet sophisticated.
  • Then overnight — a lot of changes happened.
  • Relevance started becoming important too. And now Relevance is the number 1 factor. It is no longer conversion rate BUT conversion rate is part of Relevance.


  • What we went over is the history and it shows Amazon’s motivation and game plan and what to expect.

Access Part 2 HERE.

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