From Skubana:

When your potential customers look for products on Amazon, they use Amazon’s built-in, patented search engine, which works differently from popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Typically, all search engines are all about content and information. Amazon differs, because their focus is on ecommerce and sales.

Here are 5 key ways SEO on Amazon plays by different rules.

1. Amazon considers “relevancy” differently

All good search engines want to show users relevant results. Unlike Google, which focuses on user satisfaction, Amazon focuses on conversions. Google might rank a page depending on clickthroughs and bounce rate (how long someone spends on a page), Amazon measures relevancy by sales.

Tip: Don’t pay attention to clicks, pay attention to sales when analyzing your metrics and optimizing for improvements.

2. Clicks without conversions can harm your ranking

If someone clicks through to your product multiple times, but doesn’t buy, you don’t make any money…more importantly, Amazon doesn’t make any money. This means that clicks without reviews could harm your ranking on Amazon, as their algorithm will put a product with a higher click-to-sale rate before yours.

Tip: Make sure your titles are 100% clear about what you’re selling. You don’t want anyone clicking through to your product expecting something else, and then leaving without making a purchase.

3. Social proof is much more important

Social proof means that someone is much more likely to make a purchase when a product was recommended by someone they trust. Reviews on Amazon aren’t the equivalent of a testimonials page on Google. Reviews encourage conversions, which means they are more important for Amazon SEO.

At the same time, negative reviews are unavoidable (unlike in a testimonials page, where you can choose what to show), and much more potentially harmful. This means that when you get a negative review, you must be much more proactive in handling it for the sake of your ranking.

Tip: Encourage your repeat customers to leave reviews with a discount on future orders. These are customers who are pleased enough with your product to re-order, and likely to be future customers.

4. Numbers cannot be used for fluff

Whereas listicles (ie. 5 reasons to…) are popular on typical search engines, the numbers on Amazon cannot contain fluff. They need to be used for hard data, such as the number of gigabytes in a USB, or ports on a laptop.

Tip: Include the specifications of your products in your title, and research the most popular similar products then model your title after theirs.

5. Amazon doesn’t care about off-page SEO

When you optimize a website for search engines like Google, you have to pay attention to factors like social media and external links (how many trustworthy sites are linking to yours). In Amazon’s search engine, these factors don’t play a leading role. In fact, thanks to the nature of product descriptions, Amazon doesn’t even care if you use duplicate content.

Tip: Focus on on-page SEO and filling out all your information in Amazon, rather than getting external backlinks to your product.

Key takeaways

In order to succeed on Amazon’s SEO, you cannot play by the best practices of Google, Yahoo, and other regular search engines. Optimize your content with ecommerce and conversions in mind. Focus on getting good reviews, deal with your negative reviews immediately, and describe your product comprehensively in your title.

This is a guest post by the Skubana team. Skubana is an all-in-one ERP system and operations platform designed for high volume sellers to run and automate their business. By unifying point solutions in one place, sellers can now diagnose what used to take weeks in seconds. It integrates with most e-commerce marketplaces, 3PLs, and warehouses, provides profitability and multi-channel inventory management, and compiles all of your marketplaces on a single convenient dashboard. Reach them at with any questions, or sign up for a 14-day free trial.