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does the review club still work

edited April 2016 in General
Hi guys,

For the last 5 days I have been giving away units for 0.01, I am ranked 12th for my keyword and about 9th in my subcategory. I gave away lot's of units everyday for 5 days which got me the best seller badge on the second day. I held it ever since but my main category keyword hasn't moved at all. Some of my smaller keywords have moved from >300 to 250 and similar but my main one is still ranked 12th.

I have the best seller badge so I know I am hitting the volume but I really think since it is now a direct link to the product it is much harder to hit the actual keywords that matter. At this rate I would have to giveaway units for a whole month to see any movement on this keyword which seems insane.

Does anyone have any ideas?


  • I don't disagree with you! I don't believe it works without super url either.
  • @Travis_Jamison any thoughts on this bud?
  • @fbaseller1 Hey buddy, yeah it's definitely still working. I'm no longer really working with AMZ Tracker, but I still get to see the data and it is still working. Some thoughts that might help explain things for you.

    1) Rankings do take time. Going from 300 to 20 is a breeze, but going from 12 to 5 takes longer. In fact I would bet that in the next couple of days you will post back here and say that the keywords finally moved :)

    2) Give it 7-14 days of promo giveaways. I personally believe that the algo is based on a 14 day timeline (although it cannot be proven).

    3) Perhaps raise your price. Maybe things did change for the .01 level. I don't know of this so I'm guessing, but I can say confidently that even my own products respond to the $1-$1.50 range where I do promos at.
  • SammySammy ✭✭
    edited April 2016
    @fbaseller1 Here' my experience / opinion.

    I don't think its the the review club or superURL's determining the results here - the landscape on Amazon has changed so dramatically in the last 12 months.

    No amount of 1c promo's will guarantee you rankings for the top spots for anything remotely competitive these days. I used them to get ranked for some products in the past year, but managed to stay there through organic/real full price sales.

    Your competition is probably doing just as many promo's and organic sales as you are - but more importantly they have a longer history of full price sales. Amazon is already making more money off them, and will always keep them at the top of the search results because of that - Until you can show why they shouldn't.

    I've got a product that bounces around the first page, in positions 6-10 for all the big search terms, but it's been in the top 5 in the past. I notice close to zero difference in sales no matter what position it's in on the first page. My opinion is combined with PPC - people will see it and evaluate it against the others anyway.

    My product is the most expensive on the first and second page. With the listings ones above me ranging from 1/3 to 2/3 of the cost of mine.

    Naturally the cheaper products will always convert better than mine for organic sales by keyword, and I probably won't get ranked above them long term just from Amazon traffic alone. Unless I manage to get enough outside traffic to do far more volume than them. They also have an extra years of real, organic full price sales than I do - so they make Amazon more money than I do, and Amazon rewards them with higher rankings.

    There's no way a few promo's will get me ranked above them long term.


    Say you did do enough consistent promo's to get ranked above them - it's your historical full price sales and conversion rate that will KEEP you ranked above them. Even if you manage to get the top position, if they have a higher conversion rate, a long history of organic sales, it's going to be hard to STAY ranked above them.


    I've tried recently just for fun to see if a huge amount of sales using a blast service over a week would actually make any difference - and the same thing happened. Rankings shifted slightly but ended up in more or less the same position after things had settled down.

    PS: I've found being the top position / best seller in anything competitive attracts more negative attention than it's worth. People play very dirty on Amazon - and I'm much happier and have less stress not having to deal with all the bullshit of being no 1 in a category.
  • SammySammy ✭✭
    I should add here - when you say you're ranked 12 for your keyword, I'd focus on finding more keywords.

    I'd rather rank no 1 for 100 low competition KW's than enter a never ending and expensive battle to rank a few spots higher for the most obvious/competitive one. It might even get you enough extra sales to cover the cost when it's all over

    There's 100's of search terms people will be finding your product with, perhaps focus on these to get more traffic which will lead to more organic sales and ideally higher rankings across the board.

    I use and to get ideas.
    As well as automatic Amazon PPC campaign reports.
  • Awesome post as always Sammy. I'll add to your keyword tool list It's been one of my favs for years now.
  • @Sammy @Travis_Jamison Now that super URL's are no longer used, how are you supposed to rank for keywords?
  • SammySammy ✭✭
    Optimize your listing + Sales would be my strategy..

    Amazon knows what your listing is about from the keywords used on the page, Title being the biggest factor. Sales to a regular URL will still help you rank.

    Super Url's provided some added benefit as they increased conversion rates for a particular KW. I don't have all the data but It's unclear if they still work as well as they used to, and Amazon made it intentionally unclear if they deem them against TOS.

    (I don't think they are and never heard of anyone getting penalised though)
  • Hi @Travis_Jamison,

    Could you tell whats the advantage of over lets say manual keywords research? I understand does not have/use Amazon PPC data nor is it able to pull back end keywords from listings. So basically all it does generates related keywords using google adwords tool and Amazon's auto suggestions..?
  • Just as a follow up, the free giveaways never moved my main keyword. However I did a promotion to my own list at 1 dollar each sale and only gave 20 away for 2 days and the keyword moved 4 positions after about 3 days. So I am not seeing any movement from free giveaways (gave away 100+) compared to selling at a small cost (only gave away 40).

    I don't agree with not being able to outrank long standing competitors as I have done it many times and held that position. I have a new brand that is ranked number 1 for my main keyword and this has done nowhere near the sales that my other brand has, but that one is ranked 6.

    I really think the main thing is conversion rate and I don't think free giveaways are effecting that stat any more or at least not very much. If I was an Amazon dev then I would put something into the algo to say if its 10% of the price then only effect the conversion stat by 10% of a full sale. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what they do as they have done the less than 50% is a non verified review thing. So they are monitoring the discount price in the system. I think giving a product away for a dollar works because it is making Amazon money compared to before so they predict you should move up the rankings, doing it for free is not having that effect for me.
  • SammySammy ✭✭

    Fair enough and I'd agree that the cost should effect the results from Amazon's perspective in theory. But how do you directly connect the move in rankings from the $1 promo's in such a short time period? And how do you get them to stick - assuming CR is the main factor.

    I mean how can you track movements in rankings to a specific giveaways? From my experience it's impossible due to so many other changing factors.


    Example - sometimes I notice movements weeks later, sometimes I've noticed nothing.

    It could be your conversion rate related to your competitors that day/week, it could be the giveaways from the week before, it could be the $1 giveaways. It could be your organic sales conversion rate compared to your comp that week...

    There's no precise way to narrow it down IMO

    For example I did a massive giveaway a few weeks ago using a blast service of 500+ units at quite a high price ($4.95) and it barely did anything.. moved some rankings up and then back down.

    A few weeks later and I've noticed a few of my products move up significantly for very competitive terms, some from positions 10-12 to top 4 for multiple competitive keywords.

    And oddly since the move UP in the last few days, I've noticed a drop in sales. It could be less people searching lately, it could be anything.

    My point is there's so many factors effecting rankings - Competition, Your CR, Amazon making changes to their own algorithm - that on such a small scale it's pointless making any definitive assumptions.


    PS: Not really disagreeing with you on the whole. I doubt 1c / free giveaways have as much weight as they used to.

    But by that logic why would a $1 giveaway at 20+20 units have such a profound effect overnight? Unless your niche is simply that easy.

    What kind of BSR are you talking about for the top ranked products in the search results?
  • SammySammy ✭✭
    @fbaseller1 I just realised this is for the UK?

    I'm curious if it's identical to the USA right now in what changes they have made to the algorithm, as I imagine there is less abuse of it there?

    I realise there's less volume/comp. Perhaps it is a lot simpler to connect specific rankings to the exact promo in that case.
  • @Sammy I never said it moved up overnight. It moved up about 2-3 days after I finished the giveaways.

    I have done free giveaways and superurls 5 times since amztracker changed (and just before) and none of these did anything. I did 2 days to my own list with manual search at a price of 1 and it moved (this was a very competitive keyword).

    I have been selling a couple years now so when I have a product that is in the same spot and sales for months it is quite clear that it was the giveaway that moved it. I agree there are a lot of moving parts and it moves up and down a lot but when your already on the first page variance isn't going to move it into the top 6, possibly it may move up or down 1 place or so but I sell supplements so it's very competitive.

    In my eyes it is easy to see when a promotion worked, both ways will spike your BSR (some people I never outsell but with these promotions I was ahead of them for a while), then you wait a while and either the keywords don't move (even though my BSR was destroying all my competitors) or it moves up from position 12 to 6. The latter procured with manual search and selling at a price.

  • edited May 2016
    @Sammy Yes I believe they are pretty much the same now, the verified review thing came into effect later than the US, but right now I think they are the same from everything I have read and people I have spoke to. I am starting to sell in the US in the next couple weeks so we shall see.

    It's all the same in the UK, there is still a lot of money to made in the UK and across Europe and that means there are people abusing the system. I have had lot's of reports and infringements against me, negative reviews and all that stuff.

    I actually think in some ways the US will be easier as we don't have services like zonblast in the UK, which I can't wait to try out. Now amztracker has changed it's rules it is very hard to target specific keywords now which is why I do it to my own list. The only other one I know of that supports the UK is Ilovetoreview but they are insanely expensive.
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