Every year or so, Amazon updates its search algorithm and adjusts the inputs that help products rank for certain search terms. In December 2020, Amazon released an update to their A9 algorithm, simply named the A10. With the A10 algorithm comes a new set of ranking factors with varying importance placed on previous ranking factors from the A9 algorithm.


Following a new release of the algorithm, brands should review new ranking factors and make changes to their Amazon strategies to compete for a top spot on the SERP. If an update was made to SEO in early 2020, it is important to consider whether or not the product page aligns with the new A10 updates. Direct Agents does this for clients through close monitoring and variation testing across inputs of the algorithm. 


Below is a guide to the A10 algorithm and how brands should use the update to create strategy across their entire Amazon business. First, we will cover the inputs of the A10 Algorithm. Next, we will take a deeper look at how Direct Agents uses these inputs to help our clients make strategic business decisions aimed at growing Amazon sales.


What Factors Does the A10 Algorithm Use to Rank Products?

In order for sellers on Amazon to optimize their chances of success, it’s important to understand the new set of ranking factors in the A10 algorithm.

  1. A Change in Pay Per Click (PPC)

Previously, PPC sales were a heavy contributor to increased rankings for a product. However, with the A10 algorithm, there is less importance placed on this factor. While a strong PPC campaign is still necessary, it won’t create the same uplift in performance that it previously had.

  1. Shift Towards Organic Search

With less importance placed on PPC, there has been a significant shift towards organic search influencing rankings. In order for brands to keep up with this shift, it’s crucial to develop and implement a strong SEO strategy to maintain sales and rankings and provide the best possible user experience to entice conversion.

  1. Seller Authority 

One of the most important ranking factors in this new algorithm is a seller’s authority. This means that sellers who have had a longer time on the platform along with positive reviews and low return rates will be most favored to appear in the search results. This can make it increasingly difficult for new sellers to enter the market. For this reason, it’s important to have a well thought out SEO and product launch strategy from the start – something Direct Agents has helped build out for many Amazon clients.

  1. Previous Sales

Amazon is now taking sales history into account when ranking products. Sellers with consistent in-stock inventory, competitive pricing, and sales will benefit from this update. 

  1. Impressions

When a customer views your product on the Amazon SERP or anywhere else on the site, the view is counted as an impression. With the new algorithm update, the more impressions you have the better your product will rank on the SERP. For this reason, it’s critical to optimize listings for target keywords in products vertical. However, it’s important to be careful – if your listing has high impressions but low click-through and conversion rates, you will see a dramatic decrease in rankings. It’s key to have a strong user experience and retail readiness on your product pages before pushing for increased impressions.

  1. Click-Through Rate

The rate at which users click onto your listing through the search results page helps the A10 algorithm determine how relevant your product is to certain search queries. A product with a consistently low CTR will see a decrease in search result appearances which translates to decreased sales. Compelling product imagery and a well-thought out title are critical in enticing users to click on your listing, resulting in a higher CTR and higher rankings.

  1. Off Site Traffic & Sales

Inbound traffic generated from external sources will be weighed more heavily in the A10 algorithm. Social platforms links as well as blogs, videos, and other external linking opportunities will drive users to the listing and help products gain more visibility, ultimately leading to better rankings.


How Can You Optimize for the A10 Algorithm?


With the unrolling of the A10 algorithm, it’s inevitable that sellers will see a change in their product rankings. In order to get ahead of this update and ensure your products see a positive change in rankings, there’s a few things you can do to benefit from this update.


Strong SEO Strategy

With organic search now being one of the most important aspects the algorithm takes into consideration when ranking your products, a well built SEO strategy is pivotal in increasing your rank. Optimizing factors such as title, bullet points, description, and product imagery will greatly benefit your brands rankings and increase your overall sales. Since the rollout of ths A10 update, Direct Agents has been utilizing A/B and multivariate testing on factors such as product titles, bullet points, A+ content, and imagery in order to make data backed decisions when we conduct optimizations.


Competitive Intelligence

Researching how your competitors are listing their products, what types of reviews they’re receiving, which keywords they’re focusing on, and how they’re promoting their products will allow you to develop a strategy that encompasses successful competitor techniques and best practices.


Drive Conversions with Promotions and Retail-Ready Pages

Now that seller authority is a larger factor in the algorithm, you will need to evaluate other aspects of your Amazon business to ensure fast and consistent sales growth. Pricing is important because users are always looking for the best deal, and Amazon wants to match them with a product that is reasonably priced for the value it proposes. If changing a product’s price is out of scope, ensure you have a well-thought out promotional strategy to drive conversions during peak time frames. When a promotion isn’t running, make sure your pages show the consumer the value in your products with images, videos and A+ content. 


Encourage Reviews

Amazon’s main goal is to match users with relevant products so they’re more likely to purchase. For this reason, positive reviews are extremely valuable to a brand. Taking advantage of review programs that Amazon offers helps to generate reviews and boost brand ranking. It can be difficult for a new product to accrue reviews on Amazon. However, there’s a few ways you can encourage users to leave a review. Options include utilizing product inserts in your packaging and making use of the ‘request a review’ option (if using Seller Central) on Amazon which will follow up with past customers.


Develop an External Traffic Strategy

Driving external traffic to your page, an important ranking factor with the A10 algorithm update, is a great way to get more views. Researching and developing a strategy to drive external traffic to the listing will help increase sessions, as well as sales. Direct Agents offers a wide range of services that can help your brand build a strong external strategy, such as social advertising, paid and organic search, Amazon attribution, influencer marketing, and our proprietary SOV and performance tools. 


The new A10 algorithm has the potential to increase your overall performance – as long as you take the time to optimize for this new set of ranking factors. Direct Agents has a team of specialized Amazon experts ready to help you develop a strategic plan and optimize your brand on Amazon. 


Erin Gerety, SEO Analyst


If you want to learn more about how we can elevate and grow your brand on Amazon, email us at marketing@directagents.com.