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Improve your hidden A9 score for more sales

Kennedell Amoo-Gottfried
February 22, 2022
September 16, 2022
Improve your hidden A9 score for more sales

When you type something into Amazon, did you ever wonder what determines what comes up first? What exactly is it that will push your product to page 1 instead of page 5? 

The answer is A9, Amazon’s search engine algorithm. 

Staying on the right side of the A9 is crucial. Research shows that only around 30% of shoppers go past the first page, so optimizing for a higher ranking can make a massive difference to sales.

Embedded into A9 is the concept that by the time someone goes onto Amazon, they are pretty close to buying something already. You don’t typically go on to browse - most of the time you already have an idea of what you want, and you want to be given choices about the best option.

This makes it a relatively simpler algorithm than Google’s for example. Everything is commercially-minded and geared towards maximizing sales, and the factors affecting the A9 are no different.

What is it based on?

The system looks at three main areas to determine ranking: Relevancy, Conversion Rate and Customer Satisfaction. 

Each underlying factor will have some effect on your ranking - keeping an eye on all of them in a comprehensive way will have a significant impact on how your products are displayed.


  • Features: How many product points you have on your listing - rule of thumb is to have at least five
  • Product Titles: Your ranking will respond to the effectiveness of your listing title, as a properly structured one will increase conversion rates. 
  • Product description: Properly letting buyers know what they are buying will affect your ranking and search potential
  • Keywords: Research the most effective keywords to drive traffic to the listing
  • Category: Ensure that you select the narrowest and most relevant categories and sub-categories 
  • Specifications, brand and manufacturer part number: All three of these will impact search results

Conversion Rate:

  • Sales Rank: The single most important factor in the A9 ranking. If your product is making Amazon money, it will be rewarded. The top earner gets the the sought-after Best Seller badge
  • Ratings and Reviews: If customers go through the trouble of leaving you good reviews, the algorithm will take notice 
  • Price and completeness: As far as conversions go, price tends to be the strongest determining factor, and it is bolstered by how complete the listing is.
  • Time and bounce rate: How long do people stay on the page? And how often do they just leave without buying anything? Both these things signal how interested people are in your item. Less interest means lower rank. 
  • Questions: Buyers tend to have similar questions, and the more answers you have on your listing, the more chance you have of converting sales.

Customer Satisfaction:

  • Exit rate: Products pages that don’t make people leave Mazon will be ranked higher.
  • Order speed: Did the items get shipped in a timely fashion? Spoiler: shoppers care about that. A lot. 
  • Feedback: Negative feedback on your seller account will not help your ranking, buy box prospects or your sales. 
  • Perfect Order Percentage: a measurement of how smoothly the order went from start to finish. Higher percentage means higher ranking. 
  • Availability: Measures in-stock rate to see if items are available when people want to buy them. A high rate minimises refunds and cancellations. 
  • Defect rate: Measures defects in sold items as a percentage of total sales over 60 days. Sellers should have below 1% to avoid deactivation, let alone a lower ranking.

What else can I do? 

While keeping an eye on the factors directly affecting the algorithm, you would do well to watch other peripheral factors that A9 doesn’t measure but that have a second order effect on the factors it does measure. 

Having effective A+ content, for example, is not something A9 takes into account, but it will affect sales, reduce exit rate, and give you more space for features and descriptions. 

The A9 is, however, a constant work in progress. It is a maturing algorithm whose changes sometimes frustrate vendors trying to optimize their ranking. If you want to stay on top of it, it means constantly keeping up with the latest updates to keep your items at the top. 

Need help?


Schedule a free 30-minute audit call with a specialist today. 

Our Solution Architects are trained to understand your business and present your best options to grow on Amazon. All advice is customized to your needs.

About us


Threecolts acquires, launches, and grows eCommerce software & services, and owns other stellar businesses including Old Street Media, HotShp, SellerBench, Tactical Arbitrage, Bindwise, RefundSniper, ChannelReply, and FeedbackWhiz.

Old Street Media supports businesses with their advertising, inventory management, and other eCommerce services. We collaborate with over 4000 brands and have generated $600M in sales in the past year.

Reach out to HotShp for help with product titles, descriptions, bullet points, social posts, and blog posts.

Reach out to SellerBench for help with shipment reconciliation and FBA fee reimbursements. 99% of FBA sellers are owed money. Get your free audit today.

If you are more interested in the #1 Amazon Arbitrage software, try TacticalArbitrage. With over 6,000 users, TacticalArbitrage will help you discover profitable products to resell on Amazon.

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RefundSniper is an international Amazon reimbursement service that runs audits on both Vendor Central and Seller Central. Find out how much you are owed by Amazon today.

If you're looking for a way to streamline multi-platform ecommerce support, ChannelReply has you covered. Cut your customer response time in half by having all your customer information in one hub. 

FeedbackWhiz is an Amazon sellers management software that helps merchants scale their business by automating email campaigns, improving seller feedback, getting more product reviews, monitoring listings, and analyzing profit and accounting data. 

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