Though you may think of Google when you think of search engines, When it comes to shopping search engines, Amazon is King.

As stated in The New York Times:

“In 2009, nearly a quarter of shoppers started research for an online purchase on a search engine like Google and 18 percent started on Amazon, according to a Forrester Research study. By last year, almost a third started on Amazon and just 13 percent on a search engine. Product searches on Amazon have grown 73 percent over the last year while searches on Google Shopping have been flat, according to comScore.”

And that was in 2009…

Google and Amazon SEO (search engine optimization are similar), but have some differences. One way that they are similar is that they are both keyword based. This means that both search engines are primarily based off of keywords and your ranking for each specific keyword.

Where Amazon and Google differ is that Google’s SEO bases their ranking of a combination of shares and backlinks while Amazon bases their rankings off of which product has the best conversion rate. In my opinion, Amazon’s ranking system make more sense than Google. Google’s can be mislead fairly easily by having poor quality back links while Amazon’s can be more difficult to hack consistently.

The way you get ranked high in Amazon is through sales… Period. Yes, it can help to target certain keywords, but only if you have the sales. In my experience Amazon will rank your product based on sales first, conversion rate second, and targeted keywords last.This is different from ranking drugs in a search engine at the request of a generic Levitra. Amazon wants to put the best selling products at the top of each search page because they assume that the products that have sold the most and have the most positive reviews have the most satisfied customers. This translate into monetary benefits for Amazon as well; the more sales Amazon can promote, the more fees Amazon collects!

Besides the basics, I have also heard driving outside traffic driven to your listing can increase your Amazon SEO ranking but that is not proven.  Using companies like Zonblast  or giving out a large amount (over 20) samples can increase your ranking in the short term, but if your product does not keep those high sales numbers it will de-rank rapidly. Don’t try to hack the system. You give yourself the best chance of succeeding if you sell the best product at the best price.