Google has come from being just a search engine to being an engine for change, and has beaten virtually all its competitors.
But in 2015, a curious thing happened. While Google still led the charge in terms of search volume for products at 54%, Amazon followed closely behind at 46%. By 2018, Amazon had beaten Google with a rate of 55% for product searches, with Google in second place.
Amazon’s SERP is not better than Google’s, but it is more productive.
Google’s search algorithm is highly intuitive, and is still perceived as the best when it comes to searching for anything, from information to products. Amazon’s algorithm, which it calls A9, is gaining on Google’s omniscience, capable of determining a consumer’s intended results and good at recommending the best products to them.
As of today, Amazon’s search SERP has a conversion rate of over six times that of Google’s. It seems that Google’s algorithm, while designed to deliver the best and most relevant information to those making a search, is not quite on par with Amazon’s protocols when it comes to recommending products.
Because of these differences, SEO for both Google and Amazon should be approached with different strategies. Google ranks its results based on authority, relevance, and technology; Amazon, on the other hand, puts an emphasis on conversion rates, keyword relevance, and customer satisfaction.
But Google will not go down without a fight. Google has rightly recognized the skills of its new competitor, and has recently pushed its new shopping platform. To attract retailers and small business owners (and grow its marketplace), Google has even announced that it would let businesses list their products for free—which would be highly competitive compared to Amazon’s listing rates.
We need to change the way we think about digital content.
Digital content has always meant informational, owned content—blog posts, videos, photos, and so on. As such, the approach to retailing online has been about this information as an answer to a question or a problem.
But as Amazon continues to be a powerhouse in the online marketplace, it has changed the way users interact with the internet when it comes to shopping. On Amazon, a product is more likely to rank with positive customer feedback—meaning a listing with more conversions is more likely to rank higher in Amazon product searches.
What we find interesting about this is that the more well-presented the product is on a store’s page, the more likely consumers are to buy it. This can involve a combination of proper product photography, sufficient product descriptions, and quick responses to questions about the product. There is so much more to consider when it comes to Amazon product searches than in Google.
Google is tailored to deliver the right information. Amazon is tailored to deliver the right products. Where do we go from there?
The patterns in customer behavior have changed greatly in the last five years alone. Product-related content SEO now needs to account for Amazon in addition to (and maybe in some cases, instead of) Google’s protocols. Amazon has now proven itself a worthy alternative to Google, at least in terms of product searches, and it is a market for SEO that cannot be ignored.
And as such, marketers now need SEO platforms that allow them to track their rankings not just on Google, but on Amazon as well.
Whatever product you are trying to sell, it is important to keep abreast of the trends in consumer behavior, and how large e-tailers such Amazon and Google respond to these trends. It is important to be visible on all platforms possible, in order to reach more of your target market and maximize your conversions.
And if you are looking for an SEO partner to optimize your products for Amazon and Google, why not try Ranked? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.