Amazon frequently changes how its search engine interacts with Amazon product page content. Amazon product page content is indexed, meaning that the search engine takes content in to account when determining the best matches for an online shopper’s search terms. Recently, Amazon quietly changed how the search engine indexes enhanced A+ content, no longer using words in the Amazon A+ description to determine the relevance of products.
This might seem a big shift, but it has little impact on the value of A+ content. The main goal of A+ content is to provide information and inspiration so that shoppers will click the “Buy” button. It provides a superior shopper experience and Amazon has done studies indicating it increases sales by 3-10%.
So why the change to Amazon’s search indexing, and how should brands respond?
How Has Amazon Indexing Changed?
After hearing that Amazon was no longer indexing A+ content, we analyzed Amazon products across 15 different categories. A unique phrase was selected from each product and entered into Amazon’s search bar. Then we looked to see if those products appeared in our search results for that unique phrase. In the end, we found that A+ content is not being indexed in the Amazon search engine. Amazon has also stopped indexing the old HTML version of A+ content shortly after introducing modules.
Amazon often makes changes to its algorithms with little or no advanced warning so the fact that they implemented this change isn’t unexpected. There is no way to know whether this algorithm change to search indexing is permanent (although we suspect it is not).
It’s important to note that Google continues to index Amazon A+ content.
What Should Brands Do to Adapt to This Change?
There are a few ways brands can maintain a consistent strategy in the face of Amazon’s frequent system changes.
Know Your Content and its Place
For product pages, each type of content has a role and a place in the sales funnel. As content26’s Mark White described it in a recent podcast, “Essential, above-the-fold content with relevant keywords drives discoverability. Enhanced/A+ content drives interest, branding, and conversion. Paid search drives more eyeballs.”
While Amazon’s search engine doesn’t index A+ content right now, it does index essential, above-the-fold, content: Titles, bullets, and product descriptions. Brands should make sure that the essential content on their Amazon product pages have relevant search keywords while keeping in line with Amazon’s guidelines for content.
While essential content is important for indexing on Amazon’s search engine, A+ content is important for closing the sales. Informative and inspirational content, complete with lifestyle photography, is an important driver for conversions on Amazon.
In the end, all Amazon content has value. Brands need to have a comprehensive Amazon content strategy that includes both essential and A+ content to get the most out of their product pages.
Combine Content with Paid Search
If your products are struggling in Amazon’s search rankings despite having fully optimized product page content, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) can help. Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) offers keyword-targeted ad campaigns that can appear in various spots on the site, giving your products an extra boost of visibility. Brands can use AMS to increase traffic to their product pages and initiate the flywheel effect to boost search results rankings.
A+ content isn’t indexed on Amazon’s search engine (for now), but having a comprehensive Amazon content strategy is an great way to safeguard your product pages from unexpected Amazon algorithm changes.