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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've come to suspect the Amazon Bestseller's Ranking does more than just provide an almost-real-time hierarchy of sales vs. time.

I suspect it's also used to order the books presented in "also boughts" and when a customer requests a search--i.e. books with a lower ranking number (many recent sales) are presented earlier in the queue than ones with a higher ranking (fewer recent sales). In other words, selling a book reaps the immediate reward of more free advertising.

If this answer is buried in some amazon info post, I haven't found it yet (or I'm buried in TMI).

Am I on the mark, or all wet?

WPG
 

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The "also boughts" are a lot more complicated than just the ranking.  When there aren't many books in that list it's pretty simple, but when there are a lot, all of Amazon's algorithms kick in. 

They don't reveal the actual formulas (for good reason) but on talking with people who work there, and also what they say in the financial reports, it seems to be a combination of "views" and sampling, (both of which seem to be important -- even when no purchase results) as well as recent and long term sales (The top 100, btw is based on recent sales, but the longer term data and "total" sales tends to be more important in the algorithms.)  The usual page algorithms also play a part -- how long a person stays on the page, do they scroll down to read more, do they click away to other books which they then buy (which can be a GOOD thing in terms of ranking, if it appears your book is selling other books).

More important, however, is usually the user's browser history -- Amazon likes to show people books they're likely to buy.  Therefore the browsing and purchase history also has an effect on the various algorithms.  (Amazon, however, doesn't put the into a single big algorithm like Google -- they favor certain data for the "also boughts" and others for recommendations, etc.  But that's what they won't talk about.)

Camille
 

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On my book, Not What She Seems, I have some higher ranked books (lower number) showing up later in line than lower ranked books (with a higher number).

I did notice, right after The Overtaking came out and I had sold a bunch right away, it did show up in Not What She Seems "also bought" list, way down near the end. After sales slumped, it disappeared. I'm guessing they do take literally which books have been purchased lately that correspond with other books bought. (Pretty sure not all the people who bought The Overtaking had JUST purchased my first one.)

Hope that makes sense. I'm tired. :p

Vicki
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ Victorine Thanks for sharing that observation, Vicki. I'd love to build a macro that strips that info on also boughts and customer searches (do you think amazon might get upset with me? ;)). Like daringnovelist said earlier, there are many factors, but I've got to believe ranking plays a big role. If you were building the algorithm, wouldn't you want to put your hottest sellers right up front? (or do we believe amazon is egalitarian enough to give loss-leaders a chance? I kinda doubt that)

WPG
 
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