Amazon’s A9 Algorithm In-Depth (Part 2)

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Anthony (Lee) has been leading the pack since 2014 when it comes to ranking on Amazon. In this episode (Part Two) we cover what is working today and square off some of the rumours that speak around the Amazon FBA Community when it comes to ranking

Make sure you listen to both for the full spectrum…

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.

Check out Part 1 HERE.

Changes, Changes, Changes

  • Big units used to work and put products on page 1, then it was consistent sales and then it was not as effective.
  • Some things work for a while and then they stop working.
  • Anthony even invented the Sling shot method:
    • Make it look more organic.
    • Staggered promotions over the weeks
    • Increase the promo each week.
    • And then it was not as effective
  • Epiphany: mixed promotions/ activities lead to sporadic results because Amazon tracks EVERYTHING! 

Seeing Things?

  • Attributions allowed Amazon to see when things look weird.
  •  It has set the stage to Amazon seeing and tracking everything.
  • We know Amazon tracks expected purchases, expected traffic and expected numbers for everything.
  • They are purposely tracking and seeing everything.
  • These gives them data they can use and they know when something looks manipulated.
  • When you do something too often then it hits a red flag.
  • When you are not abusing a channel, then it keeps working.
  • That is why we are getting mixed results.

What is working now?

  • This is a shopping platform. Organic customer behaviour matters to them.
  • This is what helps move the needle right now.
    • This is why the old stuff still work as long as it is used in moderation, in balance and not in excess.
  • The ultimate formula: Traffic + Diverse Referrals + on Page Activity + add to carts + sales + sporadic but growing velocity + stable growing sales history.
  • This is what is working.


  • These stuff changes probably every 90 to 120 days, but lately what we’ve seen is that people using rebates and promos pushing it through search + find.
  • Full price purchases are outperforming discounts.
  • Add to carts work but diminished effectivity — and you need to do it more intelligently: DO NOT ADD COUPON PLUS PRODUCT at the same time. Amazon knows.
  • Too many add to carts do not work.
  • Changing up URLs, social share URLs at the bottom of the buy box– it is embedded with tracker code so sharing the listing and people get to the listing: Amazon likes that!

Sky is falling, maybe…

  • All of us get convinced of things and they may turn out not to be true. 
    • The goal is to get to the truth.
  • The pit fall: NOT TESTING and taking assumptions at face value.
  • Knowing Amazon’s motivation allows you to see what it will do.
  • Three actions usually done by Amazon: 99.99% 
    • #1 Flag the customer with low quality score. Or group of customers acting in similar action. They find them and tag them. And then you will not see any positive contribution from these customers. Can’t even leave a review.
    • #2 Flag the product. You will see customers unable to leave a review for the product! They can do things to your product like move the product to another category, re-index it and so on. But they do not do it that often.
    • #3 Take away a feature or suppress the effect of something. This is the last resort– they handle things programmatically.
  • When things are happening that you do not understand here are the things you need to look at.

So what now?

  • You want to diversify your traffic sources– like social sharing, this will not be effective for so long.
  • What you will need yo do is to diversify product from the source. But of course that will not be that effective too in the near future.
  • Diversify your listing activity.
  • Increase your relevance.
  • Google has laid the road map and this is what Amazon will try to do.
  • Associated relevance: When your product gets clicked on while people are going through listings and products. The browse path that customers take. Ex: Similar products, better price and so on.
    • This is also something to consider.
  • These changes will keep on happening — be slow and methodical.

Get in touch with our guest Anthony Lee:

  • @AnthonyLee991
  • Connect with him on TikTok, Facebook and IG.

To get help, or if you have any question then get in touch with us: danny@sellersessions.com

If you are looking for help or more information check out: https://sellersessions.com/case-studies/

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About SellerSessions 2020

  • Our venue this year: The David Game Keynote Theatre, with tiered seating.
  • This year we are supporting a charity and a portion of the proceeds will be given to  Tomy’s pioneering studies for prevention of babies born asleep: https://www.tommys.org/
  • We will give away 5 FREE tickets for single-parent Amazon sellers. If you know anyone please get in touch to get the details.
  • Confirmed speakers and more to come:
    • Brandon Young
    • Dr Yev Marusenko
    • Destaney Wishon
    • Zack Franklin
    • Nadine Schöpper
    • Liran Hirschkorn
    • Ivelin Demirov 
    • Dr Ellis Whitehead
    • Paul Harvey 
    • And yours truly, Danny McMillan. I will be hosting the show and speaking on a topic.

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