Update: Ranking, Reviews and URLs

Anthony Lee joins to discuss the state of Amazon reviews and ranking.

  • Anthony is constantly running test to test the algorithm
  • Blasting – take a lump amount of units and released them as quickly as possible, quicker they were released, quicker they got bought and the higher your rank went
  • Single day blasts became no longer effective as the algorithm shifted to 7-day averages and monthly averages
  • Promotions got spread out over time
  • Then speculation of the more natural the sales looked the better
  • Then concepts for how to promote came along

Blasting is good again?

  • Anthony has gone back to testing and is seeing a move back to higher volumes and velocity being effective again
  • The more zero sales history a product has over the year the harder it is to rank it
  • For brand new listings velocity is a surefire way to rank
  • If it’s not a new launch then sales history has a part to play as well
  • There is a good 90 day window to hit velocity and rank well

Data into Amazon Advice

  • Amazon cares about hourly sales
  • Also cares about weekly but not as much as hourly
  • Monthly sales also may not be as important to them as the hourly sales
  • After 3-4 months then the longer term sales matter as much as the hourly
  • If you have a newer product then it makes more sense to take as many units as you can to release them and spike that velocity as it will rank you faster
  • This brings you upto the same level as the competition in Amazon’s algorithm’s eyes
  • Take advantage of the honeymoon period to get ranked on the front page and stay there for a while and hope that organics kick-in and keep you there
  • Zero sales history can be the death of your listing

Filling the Promotional Gaps

  • Danny looks at top-ups
  • Give away a bunch of units
  • Check the numbers and organic sales to check on progress
  • Then maybe release a few more giveaways checking the coupon codes to assess progress
  • Filling in the gaps to boost along with extra promotions to keep sales progressing is good

The Higher the Discount

  • If you have high discount you can be really bad at Facebook ads
  • The discount level is what Facebook users are looking for
  • Facebook is a billboard you are going there for the eyeballs
  • Unless you test though you won’t know if you can get away with a 50% discount instead of a 90%
  • Check you conversions and vary the discount level

Blast Services

  • With a blast service going at 50% for 7 days in a row – day 1 might be good but diminishes after as the discount is not low enough
  • Anthony goes and blasts 100 units and makes only 200 available but only give 65% off – he wants to breakeven
  • When the competition has all decided that PPC is too expensive and all are blasting
  • Anthony has seen this model in the consumables space and the key here has been the ‘branding’ as a differentiator
  • Maybe using Pickfu and market research with customers for imagery, labelling to all be appealing and they blast the same was as everyone else  but their sticks
  • You can do everything right and rank – but nothing is guaranteed to stick
  • The product has to be right and appeal to the audience
  • The skies are not falling – it does work

Branded URLs

  • It works like any filter option on the screen
  • It makes the URL longer but essentially access the same data
  • Amazon’s algorithm does not seem to reduce the effectiveness of rank juice
  • The branded URL does work but it’s easier to produce a storefront URL
  • Breaking it down the URL is BRAND > CATEGORY > HIDDEN KEYWORDS
  • The ‘hidden keyword’ url aspect is new to Anthony
  • Not yet tested the hidden keyword feature and not sure why Amazon has it so really interesting as to why Amazon needs the facility
  • It might be totally unrelated to ranking at all!
  • We’ll revisit this in a couple of months and hear of the tests Anthony undertakes


  • Seller already know our position on reviews
  • All of us who sell physical products under our own brands want reviews
  • Mainstream media has caught onto the story that reviews are scandals
  • Reviewmater – a chrome extension to get everyone to create reviews as they make money out of it
  • Black hat tactics have put some of the legitimate review sources in a bad light
  • The media’s hype machine is making it a bigger deal than it is
  • Anthony wrote an article to try and level the pitch
  • Then Amazon had the big scandal when data scientists looked at all the reviews being skewed

Amazon Takes Action of Reviews

  • Amazon then separated out the verified and non-verified reviews
  • The star rating is skewed toward the verified
  • Media kept feeding the machine so Amazon started wiping out the reviews
  • Amazon insists you have to spend at least $50 to leave a review
  • You can only leave 5 reviews a week – cancels out the professional reviewers
  • Not allowing reviews to be left for deep discounts at all
  • All of this makes it harder for smaller sellers (big brands have marketing machines that mean they are not hit)
  • For $1,000 Amazon lets you fight your way into the Amazon Vine programme and get 30 reviews
  • The early review programme is a joke and not a good service
  • 99% of Sellers don’t know how to get onto the Vine programme and their feedback sequence is not generating reviews at a rate to stimulate the algorithm to rank

Dealing with Reviews

  • Acquiring the Positives and dealing with the negatives
  • People need to fully understand your product and “get it”
  • If you have a poor product and you’re blind to it – you will get negative reviews
  • If you can get the quality then it’s a lot easier
  • Doesn’t help with the getting out of the gate issue or being hobbled by a competitor

The Article


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