The Amazon A9 algorithm stands at the heart of the e-commerce giant’s search and discovery ecosystem, profoundly influencing how products are ranked and displayed to millions of shoppers. Designed to optimize user experience, A9 dynamically evaluates and organizes search results, product listings, and ad placements, aiming to present customers with the most relevant and compelling options.

For brands invested in running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads on Amazon’s bustling marketplace, understanding the intricacies of the A9 algorithm is critical in helping to maximize results on Amazon. It shapes the visibility and prominence of your ads, influencing click-through rates, conversions, and overall campaign success. In this evolving landscape and to set yourself with an advantage over your competitors, mastering A9’s mechanics empowers brands to strategically position their offerings, seize market share, and drive their e-commerce ambitions to new heights.

Mastering Amazon’s A9 Algorithm For PPC Success

Understanding the Amazon A9 Algorithm

At its core, the Amazon A9 algorithm serves as Amazons ‘brain’, which when understood is an effective tool to help boost product discovery within the marketplace. It leverages a sophisticated blend of factors to determine how products are ranked, displayed, and ultimately chosen by customers in response to their search queries. While the exact inner workings of A9 remain a proprietary secret (and even those working within Amazon don’t necessarily fully understand how the algorithm works), there are several crucial components that have been shown to come into play:

Amazon A9 Algorythm

Relevance and Keyword Optimization:

The concept of relevance lies at the heart of the A9 algorithm. When a user enters a search query, A9 scans through the vast catalog of products to identify those that are most relevant to the query. To achieve optimal relevance, brands must strategically optimize their product listings with appropriate keywords.

  • Keyword Placement: Placing relevant keywords in product titles, bullet points, descriptions, and backend search terms helps improve the product’s visibility. However, the usage of keywords should be natural and coherent, avoiding excessive repetition or keyword stuffing.

  • Long-Tail Keywords: Embracing long-tail keywords – more specific and less competitive search terms – can help brands target niche audiences and stand out amidst the competition.


Performance History and Customer Engagement:

A9 evaluates a product’s historical performance as a crucial factor in its ranking. Metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and customer reviews provide insights into how well a product resonates with shoppers. Products that consistently engage and satisfy customers are more likely to rank higher.

Positive Feedback Loop: High-quality products, exceptional customer service, and positive reviews contribute to a positive feedback loop. The more a product satisfies customers, the more it’s favored by the A9 algorithm, leading to increased visibility and higher rankings.

Availability and Fulfillment:

A9 also takes into account practical considerations like product availability, shipping times, and fulfillment methods. Efficient inventory management and reliable order fulfillment contribute to a seamless shopping experience, thereby impacting a product’s ranking.

Fulfillment Options: Utilizing Amazon’s various fulfillment options, such as Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), can enhance the likelihood of prime placement for products due to Amazon’s reputation for swift and reliable shipping.

Pricing and Competitive Analysis:

Competitive pricing is a significant factor in A9’s evaluation. Products that are competitively priced in relation to similar offerings are more likely to gain prominence in search results.

Pricing Strategies: Brands should strategically price their products to strike a balance between being attractive to customers and ensuring profitability. Regularly assessing competitors’ pricing and adjusting accordingly can help maintain a competitive edge.

Images and Visual Presentation:

In the visually-driven e-commerce landscape, the presentation of products matters immensely. A9 considers the quality of product images and videos when determining rankings.

High-Quality Imagery: Clear, high-resolution images that showcase products from different angles and highlight key features contribute to a positive user experience. Videos that demonstrate product use or provide additional information can also engage users effectively.


As you can see, the most important factors that influence Amazon’s all important A9 algorithm are factored in ensuring that the products being sold are all ‘retail ready’ – and highly optimized for the customers best shopping experience available. Remember – customer focus and shopping experience is at the very core of Amazon’s business model, and they clearly value this above all else when it comes to product visibility.

This is a critical element to remember and factor in when thinking about your PPC advertising and ensuring success on the platform.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime Showing Products and Reviews

How to factor A9 with your PPC advertising

Below we outline the key factors that have been shown to help influence and ‘game’ the A9 algorithm in your brands favor when successfully utilized within your Sponsored Ads PPC advertising campaigns.

1. Comprehensive Keyword Strategy:

Developing a comprehensive keyword strategy is paramount for driving targeted traffic to your Amazon product listings and aligning with the Amazon A9 algorithm’s emphasis on relevance and user intent. This strategy involves a meticulous approach to keyword research, integration, and optimization:

Long-Tail Keyword Variations: Delve beyond your primary keywords to uncover a spectrum of long-tail variations. These extended keyword phrases capture nuanced customer queries, demonstrating to the A9 algorithm that your product caters to a diverse range of needs and preferences. By casting a wider net, you enhance the chances of reaching potential customers who are looking for specific solutions.

Search Term Reports Analysis: Regularly scrutinize your search term reports to unearth invaluable insights. These reports reveal the actual search terms that led users to click on your ads. Identifying hidden gems among these terms can provide fresh keyword ideas, enabling you to fine-tune your targeting and bid allocation. This data-driven approach ensures that your budget is allocated efficiently to keywords that drive clicks and conversions.

Keyword Placement: Strategic integration of keywords across your product listing elements is pivotal. Thoughtfully weave relevant keywords into your product title, bullet points, product description, and backend search terms. This holistic approach sends a coherent message to both customers and the A9 algorithm about your product’s alignment with user queries. A well-structured listing enhances your product’s discoverability and establishes its relevance.

2. Compelling Ad Copy and Imagery:

Crafting compelling ad copy and imagery goes beyond mere promotion; it is a nuanced art form that influences customer perception and communicates the essence of your product. This strategy involves conveying your product’s value proposition while creating an emotional connection:

Emotional Appeals: Craft ad copy that resonates on an emotional level. Highlight how your product can address customers’ pain points, enhance their lives, or fulfill their aspirations. By evoking emotions, you create a stronger bond between customers and your brand.

Benefits Over Features: While listing features is important, emphasizing the benefits your product offers can be more persuasive. Clearly communicate how your product can improve customers’ experiences, solve problems, or simplify tasks. Focusing on benefits reinforces your product’s value and relevance.

Immersive Storytelling: Your ad copy should transcend mere information delivery and engage customers through storytelling. Narrate the journey of your product, its inception, and its positive impact on customers’ lives. Storytelling creates a deeper connection, fostering a sense of trust and understanding.

High-Quality Imagery: Visual content is a powerful tool for conveying your product’s essence. Utilize high-quality images that showcase your product from multiple angles, allowing customers to virtually inspect its details. Lifestyle imagery helps customers visualize how the product fits into their routines, making it easier for them to make informed purchasing decisions.

3. Ad Format Optimization:

Optimizing your ad formats requires a keen understanding of user behavior and the unique strengths of each ad type. Aligning your approach with A9 algorithm principles ensures that your ads effectively capture customers’ attention and engagement:

Sponsored Products: Experiment with different combinations of keywords and bids to strike the optimal balance between visibility and conversions. Streamline the user journey by ensuring that the product detail page aligns seamlessly with the promise of your ad, leading to higher conversion rates.

Sponsored Brands: This format allows you to showcase your brand and products simultaneously. Design your ads to deliver a consistent brand experience, reinforcing your brand identity through a customized headline, logo, and imagery. This cohesive presentation signals to the A9 algorithm that your brand is reliable and relevant.

Sponsored Brands Video: This is a great ad format to use when wanting to showcase your product in use and highlighting its benefits to shoppers using a longer form video format. By using highly engaging, and educational content which includes your brand logo and product lifestyle videography (for example, a vacuum cleaner brand showcasing the product being used and showcasing it’s cleaning power) helps increase brand awareness and drive higher click-through rates. This all signals to Amazon and its A9 algorithm of the product relevance towards your target audience helping to improve the likelihood of future ads being shown to shoppers.

Sponsored Display: Leverage targeting options such as views and interests to reach users who have demonstrated prior interest in related products. Craft informative and relevant ad content that adds value to users’ browsing experiences, positioning your brand as a helpful resource.

4. Retail Readiness and Enhanced Content:

Although sitting outside of the direct controls available within the advertising console, ensuring your product listings are retail-ready is critical in creating a seamless shopping experience that aligns with the expectations of modern online consumers and is a key signal to Amazon’s A9 algorithm:

Mobile Optimization: Recognize the prevalence of mobile shoppers and optimize your product listings for mobile devices. Streamline the design, navigation, and user interface to ensure a smooth browsing and purchasing process for users on smartphones and tablets.

Video Content: Video has the potential to offer an immersive product experience. Incorporate video content that showcases your product in action, elucidating its features and benefits. Engaging videos provide customers with a richer understanding of your product’s value proposition.

Comparison Charts and Infographics: For products with complex features or benefits, use visual aids like comparison charts and infographics. These visual elements distill intricate information into easily digestible formats, enabling customers to make informed decisions efficiently.

infographic of a clipboard with Amazon Checklist

5. Harnessing External Traffic to Signal A9 Algorithm:

External traffic refers to visitors who come to your Amazon product listings from sources outside of Amazon itself. While Amazon does not explicitly state that external traffic directly impacts A9 algorithm rankings, there is a consensus among experts that it can indirectly influence your product’s visibility and ranking. Here’s how you can utilize external traffic to signal the A9 algorithm and strengthen your PPC campaigns:

  • Diversify Traffic Sources: Drive traffic from various platforms, including social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok), influencer collaborations, blogs, and even your own website. Diversifying sources helps create a more natural and robust influx of visitors to your Amazon listings.

  • Landing Pages and Tracking Links: Create dedicated landing pages or tracking links for each external source. This allows you to measure the effectiveness of each traffic channel, understand user behavior, and optimize your strategy accordingly.

  • Engagement Signals: High levels of engagement from external traffic, such as longer time spent on your Amazon product pages, lower bounce rates, and increased conversions, can potentially indicate to the A9 algorithm that your products are relevant and appealing.

  • Boosting Conversions: If external traffic leads to conversions (sales), it can positively impact your product’s performance metrics on Amazon. Positive performance history is a crucial factor in the A9 algorithm, potentially leading to improved rankings.

  • Branding and Awareness: External traffic can help increase brand awareness and visibility beyond Amazon’s platform. When customers search for your products directly on Amazon, the algorithm may recognize your brand as more relevant due to the increased external traffic and engagement.

Some Final Thoughts

Optimizing PPC campaigns on Amazon’s marketplace requires a holistic approach that integrates various strategies to enhance the customer shopping experience and aligns with the Amazon A9 algorithm’s emphasis on relevance and engagement.

By continually fine-tuning your keyword strategy, crafting compelling ad copy and imagery, utilizing different ad formats, ensuring retail readiness, and closely monitoring performance for ongoing optimizations, brands can create impactful and successful PPC campaigns that not only resonate with customers but also leverage the power of the A9 algorithm to achieve meaningful results in the dynamic and competitive world of e-commerce.

The result is a highly optimized and effective Amazon PPC strategy that delivers increased shopper engagement and value to your customers while also working with Amazon’s A9 algorithm to get a step above your competitors.