Amazon Reviews: Let’s Talk Algorithms

Amazon Reviews: Let’s Talk Algorithms

Amazon Ranking #51,485

After doing this for a little over six months, I’ve pieced together some bits about the Amazon ranking algorithm.

There’s no way they update the ranking every single day

There have been periods where I’ve gone up to 32 days without my ranking changing despite writing additional reviews and getting additional “upvotes” – this means either they rank it every few days and there are some major gaps between reviewers, or that they just don’t consistently update the rankings.

When the rankings do change for the better, they don’t just jump by one or two spots

You might go from 7 million to 300,000 to 125,000 without ever seeing the numbers in between. My guess is that a lot of people are reviewers by “accident” (because they’re just reviewing stuff they buy) and not because they’re intentionally trying to rise up in the ranks. As the helpfulness of their reviews naturally ages out it makes room for new, enthusiastic, reviewers to take their places.

Yes, you can lose your ranking, but it’ll probably be a (relatively) minor slip

At one point I went from 52,000 to 54,000 over the course of a couple of weeks. During that time I had written a single review and had been upvoted six more times, but obviously some people were lapping me.  At a certain point in the “Top 10,000 list” you’ll notice people are writing multiple reviews almost every day. This is where quantity of reviews starts to matter more than the quality of reviews. About a month later (and 10 reviews later) I reclaimed my spot at #51,485.

How recent the review was written really does matter

It doesn’t matter if you have written one review and it has 400 up votes on it, if you wrote it 6 months ago then it’s not going to help you that much. You have to review items on a regular basis to maintain an upward trend in the rankings.

Around the 50k – 60k mark competition starts to get a lot fiercer for reviewers

It took me about 20 days to go from 85k to 70k and another 32 days before I made it to the 50k mark. I’ve already been hovering around 50k for 21 days and I don’t expect that to change any time soon. At this point, my graphs tracking my progress look like they’ve hit a wall.

Can I break the 50k mark? Can I get in to the “Top 10,000 Amazon Reviewers”? Can I get people to send me something besides dresses and crop tops from China? Only time will tell.