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December 08, 2004

Amazon.com Ranking Details

MSDN blogger Sebby posted a link to Morris Rosenthal's detailed discussion of Amazon.com rankings and how the algorithm has changed recently. Basically to focus more on the current sell rate, without factoring in historical sales. The ranking system is not public; this is all reverse-engineered, I'm not sure how.

If you're an author you probably spend some time watching your Amazon ranking, so this page is quite interesting. I noticed that the rank for Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters recently dropped from the mid 100,000s to around 500,000. Meanwhile Find the Bug these days has a rank that roughly circles around 40,000, which according to Rosenthal indicates selling about 6 copies a week. It's an interesting read, although when I tried it, his "relaxation rank" thing didn't work (I got the same rank as the main page).

He mentions "rank checking" services. WTF? So I Googled "Amazon rank checking" and found -- besides a bunch of authors saying "My name is Joe and I check my Amazon rank all the time" -- at least two sites, AmazonScan (which seems to be down right now) and the Books & Writers site. In both cases you subscribe and then it tracks your titles for you.

Another Amazon factoid: The "Better Together" section, where it suggests you buy one book with another, can actually be a sponsored association, where you pick another book that you want yours offered with. It's called BXGY (for Buy X, Get Y) and there's an FAQ about it. Amazon also creates BXGY links on its own, although the paid ones override those.

Posted by AdamBa at December 8, 2004 09:38 PM

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