Amazon SEO Ranking Algorithm Update January 2019 - Keyword FAQs - Sellics

Amazon SEO Ranking Algorithm Update January 2019 – Keyword FAQs

Amazon SEO Ranking Algorithm Update January 2019 – Keyword FAQs
By Anna Buchmann in Amazon SEO Amazon Marketing Tips Last updated on

We went back to the drawing board (aka excel sheets) and tested some of your most commonly asked questions about Amazon SEO and Keyword optimization for better organic ranking.

In our last Amazon SEO update, we discovered that different keyword fields of Amazon listings (title, backend, bullets, description) are no longer weighted differently in terms of their effect on ranking.

This time around, we tested:

  1. Keyword set combinations for parent/child variations
  2. Recognition of keyword variations such as accents, misspellings, and plurals
  3. The impact of keyword repetition, keyword distance and phrase match

Disclaimer: Despite extensive and comprehensive testing, individual products or categories might vary in their ranking behavior. There may also be differences between newly created and existing products.

Decoding Amazon’s SEO Rules: Testing Methodology

In order to test the ranking effects of the different factors, we set up a set of products across different categories on Amazon. Our test products differed only in the parameter we wanted to test, e.g. spelling of ‘ä’ versus ‘ae’. After running multiple test searches, we examined the results for common patterns.

Here is what we found.

1. Do I have to add keywords to every child ASIN or is the parent/one child product listing enough?

Parent and child ASINs are inextricably linked – but does that also extend to their keywords? We did the test to answer the following questions:

  • Do I have to add keywords to each individual parent/child listing to rank?
  • Can I use different keyword sets across children to increase the number of indexed keywords?
  • Are there any benefits in using specific keyword sets for each ASIN to get the most relevant to rank first?

The results of our tests showed the following:

  • Parent product listings do not appear in search results. Depending on the product category, child ASINs will appear with their own title (e.g. Beauty and Home) or with the parent title (e.g. Apparel and Sport).
  • Searching for keywords only included in the parent listing ranks a child ASIN. Which one probably depends on success factors such as sales and CTR.
  • Searching for keywords only included in the child listing ranks that specific child ASIN. A keyword in one child listing has no effect on the ranking of another child product from the same family.
  • If multiple child ASINs contain a keyword, in some cases only the bestseller ASIN will rank, in other cases several child ASINs containing the keyword will rank
  • Child listings are automatically updated with the bullet points, description and backend keywords of the parent listing.

What does this mean for me?

There are two strategies crystallizing from these findings:

Strategy 1: The faster the better
  • Search relevant product keywords using the Sellics Keyword Search tool or Sonar
  • Optimize the parent product listing
  • The optimized listing will rank for all relevant keywords that apply to all child ASINs.
Strategy 2: Maximum Amazon SEO optimization
  • Make use of the increased space that child product listings offer, thereby increasing the number of indexed keywords.
  • Search relevant product keywords using the Sellics Keyword Search tool or Sonar
  • Include the most important keywords in all your parent and child listings
  • Match attribute keywords such as colour and size with the relevant child listing
  • Spread the remaining keywords (especially longtail keywords) from your list across all other child listings
  • Your best-seller will appear for the most relevant keywords, while you are still covering less relevant keywords with the other child ASINs. This is especially useful when people search for specific sizes or colours.

How to track the best ranking keywords for your parent/child ASINs in Sellics

The Amazon SEO tool in the Sellics software helps you track the keyword ranking of all your products. In your product dashboard, you can select keyword/ranking performance on a product and a product group basis to monitor the visibility of your listings.

amazon seo ranking algorithm keyword tracking sellics


2. Which keyword variations does/doesn’t Amazon recognize?

Imagine you would have to take all spelling variations (including the spelling mistakes people commonly make) into your product listing…the content would be really tough to read! In order to find out which variation you have to include and which one you can ignore, we tested for:

  • Umlaute (Germans adding two dots to vowels)
  • Accents (French pronunciation aids that make everything look fancy)
  • Misspellings
  • Singular and Plural
  • Compound words
  • Hyphens

The results of our tests showed the following:

  • Umlaute (ü, ä, ö) are matched to ue, ae, oe
  • Accents (entrecôte, roségold, mèches) are matched to the non-accent spelling (entrecote, rosegold, meches)
  • Minor misspelling (carreirbag, runnign shoe, laether wallet) are matched to the same as proper spelling
  • Singular and plural are treated the same, except for long compound words in German (e.g. Mehrzweckregal, Fitnessarmbänder, Klapplaufband)
  • Different spellings of a compound words (fittnessball vs fitness ball, flipchart vs. flip chart) are not indexed automatically
  • Amazon reads listing keywords with hyphens as the two separate keywords as well as the compound word

What does this mean for me?

Good news: you do not have to include all possible variations in your product listing (and think about all the weird ways people might spell your product’s name). Amazon recognizes these variations automatically.

However, what you do need to include are singular and plural for long compound words (what the German language is known for) as well as different spellings of compound words. We also recommend making use of hyphens were applicable as they cover all possible keyword variations.

How to do Amazon keyword research in Sellics

In the Sellics software, you quickly find all relevant keywords with a few clicks. Based on your seed keywords, you receive keyword suggestions and their actual search volume on Amazon. You can then directly add these keywords to your tracking and products.

This way can be sure to never miss an important keyword again!

3. Should I repeat keywords for higher ranking and does the order of keywords matter?

We have previously tested whether factors such as keyword repetition and keyword placements have an impact on rankings.

Not much has changed on this front. This is what we found in the most recent test:

  • A higher density of the same keyword does not affect ranking
  • Keyword distance does not affect ranking
  • The correct order of keywords, i.e. the match between customer search term and listing keyword (e.g. men wallet leather vs. leather wallet men) does not affect ranking

What does this mean for me?

You do not have to repeat keywords or have to take special care of keyword placement, but you have to make sure to include all relevant ones instead. The findings also mean that you can also concentrate on the quality of your content, rather than trying to stuff your text with all possible keyword combinations.

The only thing to keep in mind is that keywords included in the description are only searchable if they are close to each other. In this context, keyword distance matters (more info on that here).

How to optimize Amazon product listings with Sellics

amazon seo ranking algorithm keyword optimization sellics

The Sellics listing optimizer helps you to not only find the most relevant keywords for your product but also to optimize your product listing. It shows you exactly which keywords you have included and which ones are missing, their search volume, where they are and on which page you are ranking.

You also have the option to compare your listing with that of your competitors and make improvements based on industry standards.

Try Sellics for free now!

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