As more people enter the Amazon marketplace there is a need to outpace those individuals, but is it ethical to be gaming Amazon search results? In this episode of Freedom Fast Lane, Ryan Daniel Moran interviews Joe Junfola of ZonBlast about manipulating Amazon’s search results in an ethical way. If you have a physical products business and want to know what it takes to rank and what the people at the top are doing right now, then you absolutely must listen to this episode.
Joe runs a service called ZonBlast, which is the fast lane to getting a product up, ranked, and making sales on Amazon. It automates a lot of what the seller would have to do manually, and is essentially a white hat algorithm manipulation tool. In the last seven months Joe has blasted more than 1,000 products and seen product ranks move from page around the 20-30 mark up to page 1-2.
In terms of their Algorithm, Joe says Amazon is where Google was a decade ago, and believes that Amazon will get smarter and implement protection against blast-like effects. He also says that people will see a good effect from blasts for another 1-2 years by using the spiking of the BSR (best seller rank.)
What Successful People Do
Go into something with a long-term mindset, and recognize the value of being willing to go into the red with getting into the black later on. 80% of people who are not as successful as the top players are holding on to as much as they can and are not willing to let go and invest in to what they know will produce the result. However, the more aggressive you are at doing what you know will create the result that you want will bring bigger the benefit on the other side.
Interior vs. Exterior
There is an interior and exterior to your product or brand. The interior is the optimization side where your conversion rate is and how your listing looks to the outside world and Amazon.
The other side is the exterior, which is what ZonBlast covers, such as promotions and ‘juicing’ the algorithm by bullying your way to the top. The people who do it right consistently are those who manage the interior and exterior of the listing well.
When it comes to the results of a ZonBlast, there are three outcomes. Firstly, the blast works and you ‘stick the landing.’ This means you have an optimized listing and targeted the right key words in sufficient quantities.
The second outcome is not sticking the landing, which means the ranking will slip back over time. This indicates that optimization issues and the conversion rate is not competitive enough for the Amazon algorithm to retain that position. The higher you get in search results, the more important conversion rate comes into play.
The third outcome is that nothing happens on the listing, which generally means the listing itself has optimization issues and is not optimized for the keywords targeted for that blast. Ultimately, Amazon doesn’t think the listing is suitable for that keyword so it won’t move it. When it comes to Amazon, there is a 2-5 day delay in terms of search results.
Manipulation of Algorithm
To rank on Amazon today it takes an optimized listing and your willingness to make available a decent amount of units. In the case of a low competition niche, Joe likes to see 75-150 units. In mid competitions, 150-250 units, and in high competition niches, 250-400 units. There is a point of diminishing returns, which means the value to the algorithm manipulation becomes less. Generally, it is a good idea to target the top 50 BSR that indicate the effectiveness of a blast and shows the customer that the algorithm was manipulated enough to pop inside the main competition.
If you give Amazon quick sales you will move in the search results. ZonBlast can test on competitiveness of a niche, how many products you have in your account, your account history, the listing optimization, and the conversion rate of listings around yours.
Price doesn’t have a direct effect on rankings; however, Joe recognizes that the $1.95 blasts go quicker than the $4.95 blasts and ‘juices’ the algorithm in a more fierce manner. However, the $4.95 might take longer and need to be blasted to more people. The ranking algorithm is crude and comes down to sales and conversion rate, which is reviews and on-page factors. Ryan speculates that if Amazon makes any changes they might penalize giveaway sales to the point where it might not have any impact on the algorithm. However, Ryan believes that sales will be the overall factor in where things rank.
Another factor of the algorithm is that the more products you have listed and are selling, the faster and easier it is to rank. However, Joe says conversion rates and raw sales will continue to rule the day; therefore, the answer is longer-term lower level sustained blasts in a form of a ‘wave.’
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Links to Resources Mentioned
Joe Junfola: What It Takes To Build A Million Dollar Business (previous podcast)
The Consolidation (previous podcast)