A Simple Explanation of Why Older Amazon Listings Lose Keywords Ranking

A Simple Explanation of Why Older Amazon Listings Lose Keywords Ranking

How many times have you seen Amazon sellers crying out loud about them suddenly losing ranks over longer periods – say after 3, 6, 9, 12 months? I am sure you have seen it a lot!

Let me try and explain why that happens in as simpler terms as possible.

When a customer searches for a product on Amazon using keywords, A9 renders search results in a specific order, commonly known as “Organic Rank”, based on a number of factors that we have discussed numerous times. We also are familiar with what Organic Rank is. So I will leave out all this discussion about Organic Rank at this point in time.

The four most important metrics to keep an eye on, to ensure you maintain ranks on the keywords you are ranking for are;

  1. Relevancy
  2. Click-Through Rate
  3. Conversion Rate
  4. Bounce / Exit Rate

After customers have searched for a keyword your product is ranking for, and your product appears on the SERP, it means A9 considers your product “relevant” for those keywords on the basis of the fact that your Listing is “indexed” for the keywords. If your Listing was not “indexed” for those keywords, there was no way A9 could even consider your Listing to show on the SERP in the first place. This concludes that “indexing” on a keyword is fundamental to “rank” for a keyword.

Once your Listing has been found “relevant” on the keywords that customer was searching for, by A9, it will show your product on the results. Now once your product is shown and you win the “click”, it will affect your Listing’s Click Through Rate. It will improve.

This fact that it was clicked through, proves its relevance even more to A9, that the customer when found your Listing, thought yours was the “relevant” product to the customer search intent.

Now if the customer after landing on your Listing, converts to a sales, this even further consolidates your product’s relevance to A9 for the keywords through which customer has landed on your Listing. As a reward, A9 improves your conversion rate and ranks you even higher in “relevancy” for those keywords.

Once the customer has converted on your Listing and decides to stay on Amazon to shop for even more products in the same “session”, A9 rewards your Listing a step even further and as a result, will rank your product even higher in the organic search results.

If the above is true, the reverse is bound to be true as well.

Now let’s hypothesize a reverse scenario that the customer landed on your Listing after searching for a keyword and “bounces” off your Listing or completely “exits” Amazon, A9 shall penalize you for losing a customer. That penalty would be in the form of a decrease in your Conversion Rate. Same is true even if the customer lands on your Listing but doesn’t convert into a sales.

Decreased Conversion Rate would eventually affect your position on the organic results. When your position drops, your Click Through Rate is more likely to drop too. When both the Conversion Rate and Click Through Rate of your Listing drop, your Relevancy for the keyword shall take a hit too.

Now if you do not do something to induce better Relevancy for the keyword, such as driving more traffic (either organic or inorganic), to force Click-Through and Conversions, over a period of time, A9 shall deem your Listing to be “irrelevant” to the customer searched keywords. When that happens, it would ultimately result in “de-indexing” of your Listing for that keyword.

Yes, you read correctly – your list will “de-index” for that keyword!

You would be wondering how does that happen in the first place? The answer to that “how” is hidden in the Periodic Sales Averages of your Listing on that particular keyword.

When you launch a new product, there is no sales history so there are no periodic sales averages in play. This nullifies the above discussion. But as the time lapses and your Listing grows old, A9 collects Sales Averages – monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually.

Upon every lapse of each period, the collected Sales Averages are then compared with similar products ranking on the same keywords as you and your organic ranks adjusted accordingly.

If your Sales Average for a keyword is found higher after the lapse of say 3 months, A9 will reward you with better organic rank for that keyword in your niche, as compared to your competitors. But if your Sales Average for the period is lower than those of your competitors for a keyword, A9 will drop you in organic ranks. This shall result in decreased conversion rate, decreased click through rate and eventually decreased relevancy.

If you do not do something about it, by the end of next period, your rank will drop even further on that keyword. And again, on the lapse of the next period – eventually all of your relevance for that keyword would be gone at some point in time and A9 will “de-index” you for that particular keyword.

I hope this lengthy yet simple explanation would now make complete sense of why Amazon sellers are so commonly observed complaining that they are loosing ranks over time.

Author – Rizwan Zaffar (Originally posted in Ecommerce Outset)

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