Biz Tips: Optimizing for SERPs vs Optimizing for Amazon

Biz Tips: Optimizing for SERPs vs Optimizing for Amazon


Optimizing for SERPs vs Optimizing for Amazon

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Amazon and Google are among the top sources for product searches online. Last year, Amazon accounted for nearly half of all product searches. At the same time, Alphabet — parent company of Google — accounted for 36 percent of all product searches. It is vital that your business undertakes a campaign for one, if not both platforms.

A question you may ask yourself is which platform are you going to spend your time on? Both Amazon and Google rankings are determined by black box algorithms, can be influenced by organic and paid search, and most importantly can be actively optimized. Although both platforms use similar ranking factors, they use them differently. However, if you know the differences in how Amazon and Google place importance on these ranking factors, you can put yourself at an advantage to deploy optimization and campaigns for both.

What’s the Difference?

You may understand that major search engines such as Google and Amazon have many of the same ranking factors. However, understanding the differences in what Google and Amazon aim to do can help you better determine how to use these ranking factors to best optimize your Amazon page and company website. Essentially, you are targeting different visitors of your website and need to optimize your website and Amazon page as such.

When you search for things on Google, Google’s algorithms scan billions of web pages and presents those it thinks will best answer your question, providing the most relevant websites in respects to your question first, and so on. Thus, we have the search engine result pages, or SERPs. Of course, the higher a company website ranks in the SERPs, the more traffic they will get to their site. Search engine optimization is vital for any business’ visibility and potential conversions.

Amazon’s algorithms are sales based, and whenever a purchase is made on Amazon, the site gets a portion of that sale. Because of this, Amazon ranks the best-selling product the highest — the more sales your Amazon page gets, the more money for Amazon itself. For Amazon, sales velocity is extremely important. Your ranking will be largely determined on how much you can sell, on top of keeping up with the demand for your product. Although they use many of the same ranking factors — keywords and various metrics — you will use them differently when optimizing for the SERPs as opposed to Amazon.


Google places a high degree of value on your webpage content. Within that content, it searches for keywords that help Google understand what your website is about. Sending the right keywords to Google allows it to index your site and its content, presenting it when people search for relevant keywords. An optimized webpage should include long-tail and short-tail keywords to cover whatever a searcher might type into Google about your niche or industry. Additionally, you may repeat keywords — without keyword stuffing — to contextually establish more relevancy.

Since Amazon places more value on sales, your keywords will be implemented differently than that of Google. People search differently on Amazon than they do for Google. In most instances, no one types a question when searching for a product on Amazon. For example, if a customer wants to search for shoes, they type in “shoes.” As a result, Amazon’s algorithms look for short-tail keywords. Your most relevant keyword for your Amazon page should be in the title, while the less relevant keywords may be in the description and details. Furthermore, there is no need for repeating keywords on your Amazon page as Amazon’s algorithms connect the keyword in your title straightforwardly to your product.

External Factors

Google recognizes when other websites link to your company website. In fact, it is seen as a vote of confidence that your site is good enough to be linked to and is relevant to a particular topic. Search engine optimizers understand the importance of external links, guest blogging, social media commentary, and other outside factors can have significant influence in the SERPs. To put it plainly, Google places importance on how other people view your business website and/or services.

Amazon does not look at outside sources when determining your page ranking. Essentially, it is Amazon that determines how high your page will rank. Most of the influence determining your ranking on Amazon is text based, and already on the site. However, you can use your webpage, and its ranking in the SERPs, to point to your Amazon page — boosting sales in Amazon because of the traffic you are getting in the SERPs.


Although you may want to look at the same metrics for Google and Amazon, you’ll want to spend more time on different metrics for Google than you do for Amazon, and vice versa. Many of these metrics will pertain to customer based data, answering questions such as:

  • What products capture the attention of the customers?
  • What are the customers saying about a product?
  • How long do they stay on a website?
  • What are they downloading or uploading?
  • What are the customer demographics?

Since Google and Amazon differ in what they aim to provide, they place value on various metrics.

Since Google wants to provide the most relevant information to its searchers, it wants to see how many visitors come to your page. A high click rate on your page shows that many visitors come to it for information. However, a high click rate with a high bounce rate will indicate that visitors didn’t go there accidentally, or clicked away quickly because they didn’t find the information they were looking for. When visitors come and stay on your website, Google recognizes your page as relevant to the question of a searcher. Click through and bounce rate are just a few of the metrics you’ll want to track when optimizing your site for Google.

Meanwhile, Amazon concentrates on selling products. Their algorithm will also want to know how many clicks your Amazon page gets but will correlate this with a conversion rate. If people click on your Amazon page and don’t make a purchase, Amazon isn’t selling any products. However, a high click rate and a high conversion rate will naturally rank your Amazon page higher over pages that aren’t selling.

It is dangerous to think that if you know optimization strategies for one platform, then you can apply them to the other. Google and Amazon are used for different things, and your optimization needs to accommodate these differences. Understanding these distinctions to be visible on both platforms can make for a comprehensive and effective marketing campaign.

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