There’s a new search engine in town

There’s a new search engine in town

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Google and search are synonymous. Almost 98% of online search in India happens on Google. Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is always contextualized to Google. But you need to be aware of the new search engine that is capturing search share. No, it is not Bing.

Amazon is the new search engine that everyone (especially sellers) want to understand build SEO best practices. Why do you ask? Because as per a survey done by UPS in 2007 in the U.S, product specific search is increasingly moving to Amazon. In fact, 29% of total product search in the US for the survey period happened on Amazon.

Why would people search on Amazon? Because it is convenient. Because 77% respondents in the survey said that the product selection is wider on marketplaces like Amazon than on traditional search platforms like Google or Bing. So more and more product searches are beginning and ending on marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart. And therefore, SEO for marketplaces like Amazon is becoming increasingly important for product sellers.

We understand the language of Google SEO. What is the language of Amazon SEO? The difference begins with the intent of Google & Amazon. Google’s stated objective is to make search convenient. Therefore the minimal design of Google homepage. Therefore the introduction of new features on Google search like ‘featured snippet’ and ‘People also search for’….intended to make search convenient. Amazon search, on the other hand, is focused on conversion ie getting people to search AND buy stuff.

Yet another difference between how Google and Amazon look at search is the “playing field”. SEO experts need to look at both on-page and off-page optimisation to ensure Google’s crawlers find and rank the content. For those preparing to focus on Amazon SEO, there’s good news- Amazon focuses only on what’s on its pages. No backlinks, no social presence…nothing.
The philosophy of Amazon search is often stated as “Amazon cares about buyers and selling stuff to those buyers”. The algorithm that powers Amazon search is popularly known as A9.

So what factors drive A9? How can a seller ensure his product is ranked higher when a buyer does a product search on Amazon?

The A9algortihm is believed to be influenced by 11 parameters (Like Google, Amazon does not particularly like to talk about what factors drive search on its platform):
1.Performance parameters that influence A9 search results on Amazon:
a.Conversion rate– Amazon believes in conversion. Users searching for a product should end up buying one of the search result products.
b.Product image resolution– The A9 algortihm prefers minimum 1000*1000 resolution image. The minimum resolution of the image is more important than the number of images. Why is that so? Because an important product search behavior is taking a ‘closer look’ at the product – hence Amazon provides the zoom feature on the product image. The higher the image resolution, the better the zoom experience for a person doing the product search
c.Price– Amazon search ranking algorithm looks at product price as an important ranking factor. Lower priced products within the same category can get ranked higher. But do note that price alone will not do the trick.
So what else helps a product rank higher on Amazon search? We will look at the other factors in part 2

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