Amazon under fire for allegedly tweaking search to gain visibility

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Amazon are making headlines this week, with reports of the marketplace allegedly changing their product search in an attempt to double-deal the system to gain higher visibility over their marketplace merchants.

Last year saw Amazon tinkering with their search algorithms to manipulate their product results to their advantage so that the most profitable merchandise for the marketplace would get a higher chance to get discovered by the consumers, says The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon spokesperson, Angie Newman commented on the reports, saying that the marketplace did not change “the criteria we use to rank search results to include profitability. Amazon designs its shopping and discovery experience to feature the products customers will want, regardless of whether they are our own brands or products offered by our selling partners.”

“When we test any new features, including search features, we look at a number of metrics, including long term profitability, to see how these new features impact the customer experience and our business as any rational store would, but we do not make decisions based on that one metric.”

Amazon currently remains a go-to destination for product discovery. The marketplace are now outpacing Google as a product discovery channel, increasing their marketplace search dominance from 46% to 54% and Google declining from 54% to 46%, according to Jumpshot report. Consumers are increasingly using the marketplace as a platform for product discovery but also to research and cross-reference goods.

For marketplace sellers and retailers, Amazon serves as a good sales funnel which boasts reach and visibility, allowing traders to take their slice of the cake by using these powerful sales triggers to acquire shoppers and solidify loyalty.

The alleged move, if found true by authorities, would undermine the credibility of Amazon as a search engine of retail, opening the space for others to take their search dominance.

9 Responses

  1. I’m still amazed amazon keep getting hammered for things ebay do brazenly.
    is this really any different from promoted listings?
    skew search results to whatever is most profitable for the platform first,
    sounds exactly like promoted listings to me. they advertise it as just that.
    – and if it’s okay for ebay to do it, surely it’s okay for amazon to do the same
    thing and give themselves a boost? when i buy advertising from myself i
    always give me a great deal.

  2. No comments, because no one is surprised and this is highly expected.

    As per standard, ‘We are a marketplace’ so we are not liable for anything.

    As also expected every organisation that can do something, is too weak to do so.

    Long live Amazon & its tax fraudulent Chinese marketplace partners!

  3. Amazon are making headlines this week, with reports of the marketplace allegedly changing their product search in an attempt to double-deal the system to gain higher visibility over their marketplace merchants.

    Where’s the juice???

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