A9 Algorithm Fundamentals

a9 facts

Editorial Process:

Our guides and reviews are written by experts who use their real-life experience. You can learn how we write our reviews by checking our editorial process.

Some links in this article are special affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, we might get a small reward at no extra cost to you. We recommend these products because we’ve used them and really like them. This site isn’t intended to give out financial advice. You can see more about our affiliate links in our privacy policy.

Table of Contents

In this short article, we will explain a few important facts about the A9 Algorithm, to help you understand our optimization process.

There are multiple contradictory opinions on the internet explaining the A9 algorithm so this guide helps you understand what is correct, based on our experience optimizing more than 5000 listings since 2016.

1. Only the title, 5 bullet points (1000 bytes only), and search terms are indexed. The description isn’t (in most cases).

On the front-end have a total space of exactly 1450 bytes (with very rare exceptions).

This heavily limits the available space to include keywords, and in order to ensure that all the keywords in your bullet points are indexed, you should aim to have approximately 200 bytes per bullet, or a total of 1000 bytes overall.

As for the description, you might find some sources stating that “phrases” are indexed in the description. Based on our tests, it was not the case and we don’t want to risk it. So our main focus when optimizing the listings excludes considering the description, although we still add a few phrases in the description just in case.

2. You do NOT need to add phrases in phrase form to “target” them and rank higher for the keywords

If you focus on having every individual keyword indexed, the PHRASE as a whole made up of those keywords will be indexed. This means that we can use the space wisely by indexing as many individual keywords as possible, in order to have as many phrases indexed as possible too.

For example, if you’re selling a swaddle blanket, and you want to rank on page 1 for “baby cotton swaddle blanket”, you do NOT need to add that exact phrase in your listing. It is enough to have each individual keyword indexed separately as that will also make the phrase indexed. So for instance you can add baby in the bullet points, cotton in the search terms, swaddle blanket in the title and you will still be indexed for baby cotton swaddle blanket.

PS: We still try to add phrases in phrase form where possible, just in case any future algorithm changes might favor those, but not at the cost of decreasing the number of unique keywords used.

3. If you add phrases, it will NOT have any extra benefit for Amazon.

People very often confuse Amazon and Google since they have notions from Google in their heads. On Google, phrases + frequency of phrases matters. On Amazon, phrases don’t matter, I’ll explain more in point 4. However, as explained above, we still try to include some phrases where possible (usually between 3-6)

4. Adding a PHRASE in your listing will NOT guarantee a higher rank.

If you want to rank high for a phrase, what matters is simply to have that phrase indexed (as explained above) and then target that phrase with PPC or giveaways in order to get more sales per day FROM that phrase compared to the page 1 competitors.

5. Between the different indexed fields, it does NOT matter where you put your keywords.

The fields of the product listing (title, bullet points, description, backend keywords, etc.) used to be weighted differently in the Amazon ranking algorithm, ie: the title being more important than the rest.

Amazon removed this weighting later in October 2018

Currently, the fields are weighted equally. It doesn’t matter where you put your keywords, as long they’re in a field that’s indexed.

Note: If you have any special requests in terms of optimization, we don’t necessarily need to follow our own process. Let us know and we can adapt our process with your instructions. 

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request a Quote

Do you need help with anything in particular? Fill out this form and we'll get back to you.