If you are a regular customer of Amazon, you would know that if you search for a product on Amazon, you get multiple results, including products that are not even relevant. The search algorithm of the website has always been a complete mess.
However, just recently, Amazon made some changes to its search algorithm. You might be thinking that the search will now be as per the relevance of the products, but unfortunately, it’s not. The search algorithm is now based on which of the products selling through Amazon would make Amazon more profit.
This change was made last year, under the noses of the end-users. In a report presented by the Wall Street Journal, it was stated that this change was made even though many employees working on the project were against it. This change, as per Amazon, was made as part of the struggles of team A9 which is responsible for Amazon algorithms and team marketing for the retail businesses.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, this change was made because customers mostly buy one of the first few options shown. This way, Amazon won’t be selling products of third party manufacturers rather its own goods.
Amazon pledges to do what’s best for its customers. However, this step, goes against their pledge which is why many employees were against this. An employee even said, ‘The search engine should look for relevant items, not profitable ones.’ as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon responded to the report by completely denying the fact and instead claimed that no such change in the search algorithm had been made. When asked about why team A9 believes the change is significant, their lawyers responded by refusing to answer, which only confirms the news.
The report also stated that the A9 team has been under pressure to surface more of Amazon’s products instead of its competitors to increase its sales. This way, they can sell more than 10,000 of its products, including products that have no relevancy.
You can even check for yourself simply by searching for different products or the same product many times. You will observe terms like “Amazon’s choice,” “Amazon’s essentials,” “Amazon’s basics,” or anything else involving “Amazon.” All these are products by Amazon that in most cases, are completely irrelevant to what you searched for.
Initially, before this change was made Amazon had an option of “Show relevant products.” You can’t see that feature on the website anymore. Instead, it has been replaced with “featured,” and no information has been provided by Amazon on what featured means. This feature means that Amazon can feature any products for any reason.
As you can see for yourself, Amazon is not playing fair by recommending its products only based on profitability instead of relevance, quality, and reviews so that they could sell their products and generate revenue.
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