Many Amazon sellers believe Super URLs can play a big part in ranking high for valuable keywords. By simulating an organic search, the idea is that you can boost popularity signals for your product for specific keywords, and thus make a lot of money in time with sales from organic search.
However, the million dollar question is – do Super URLs work? Did they ever work? Are they legal?
In this article, we’re going to explain what Super URLs are, along with why, how and if you should use them.
What is an Amazon Super URL?
A Super URL is a way to link directly to an Amazon product listing, while making the ranking algorithm think the click came from an organic search.
This is done by making a URL that replicates certain parameters, which are meant to show Amazon the exact source of a click.
The whole point of this is to attribute the same, specific ranking power to a sale from external traffic as one from organic traffic.
See, if Amazon sees a lot of sales for one product coming from a particular search term, they’re going to rank the product higher for that search term (since it appears popular and relevant).
Since some search terms have a lot more searches than others, sellers obviously want to tweak the rankings so that their product shows up for these high-volume terms.
They can do this by sending people to their product through a specific URL, with a keyword and unique timestamp attached. This is a Super URL.
How do Super URLs Work?
To understand a Super URL, we first need to understand is the elements of a URL.
You’ll often notice long strings at the end of the link to a listing, which seems like gibberish. The link actually contains information on how the person came to that listing.
If we take this example:
There are several parts to note.
This part (blender) shows the keywords used in the search that found this listing.
“Qid” in the Amazon URL is the search’s timestamp (the time the search happened). This is the UNIX Epoch time of the product search – the exact number of seconds since January 1st, 1970.
The “sr” section shows what position it was for this specific search, in this case, 16th.
Why does all this matter? It helps the Amazon A9 search algorithm’s ranking process – connecting relevant listings with customer searches. If a lot of customers buy a product after searching a particular keyword, rankings for that keyword go up.
The rest is
When Should You Use a Super URL?
To use a Super URL, you need to give someone a specific link to go to your product listing. That means you can only use Super URLs by promoting your product in external (off-Amazon) traffic sources.
These sources might include:
- Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)
- Pay-per-click advertising campaigns (e.g. Google Ads)
- Email marketing
- Blog posts
- Links on the seller’s own e-commerce website
There are many benefits of driving traffic to your product from external sources. Targeting specific keywords to boost your rankings is one of the most powerful benefits.
Be aware that static Super URLs (links with the same timestamp and identifier) won’t work too well. Once a single user clicks the link and converts by making a purchase, all other sales through the same link are “duplicates”. This means the ranking system will omit them.
Some services offer the solution of a dynamic Super URL generator. The seller links to the Super URL service. This service redirects the traffic through a unique link with a specific timestamp and the desired keyword, before they land on the Amazon listing. Each external click is then treated as a new search by the ranking algorithm.
Super URLs increase perceived traffic from specific keyword(s) desired by the seller. For example, if you send 100 people to your listing through a Super URL with the keyword “memory foam pillow”, Amazon’s search algorithm should see this as 100 people searching for “memory foam pillow” and clicking on your product.
However, it’s important that people you send through this link at likely to buy your product, not just look at it.
Funneling a lot of non-converting traffic through a Super URL may actually damage your search rankings. The search engine’s goal is to optimize purchases. So if a search term is not resulting in purchases, the listing will start ranking lower for that search term.
Keep this in mind: one should only use Super URLs for traffic you are confident will convert. Offering the customer a discount at the same time will greatly increase your conversion rate (as well as increasing your sales in general).
If you’re going to use a Super URL, use it together with a landing page and an opt-in for a discount code for best results (use LandingCube to make setting this up this super easy).
Are Super URLs allowed within the Amazon terms of service?
Amazon doesn’t make specific mention of Super URLs. However, they do explicitly state that manipulating their search algorithm is against the TOS:
Whether Super URLs are considered part of this is a matter of interpretation.
Amazon can likely tell if a link is manufactured, by cross-examining the keyword, timestamp and search rankings. For this reason, a less sophisticated Super URL generator may put you in danger of running afoul of Amazon.
Should I be using Super URLs?
New and improved tactics are constantly being discovered to optimize search rankings. But Amazon has been adjusting their algorithm and policies at the same pace.
Some sellers are already claiming that Super URLs no longer work for optimizing keyword rankings. But since Amazon doesn’t make the details of their search rankings public, we can’t know for sure if they have stamped it out or not.
Whether Super URLs work is something of a grey area. There is a chance that driving traffic this way might benefit your rankings. But it’s just as likely that most Super URLs don’t work, and won’t give you any added ranking boost.
Alternatives to Super URLs
At the time of writing, Super URLs appear to be dead (or at least, largely ineffective). It’s too easy for Amazon to spot sales coming from regular Super URLs, due to the timestamp and other identifiers in the URL structure.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t run external traffic campaigns targeted at particular keywords. There are a couple of newer alternatives.
2-Step URLs are used to good effect by many successful sellers.
What is a 2-Step URL?
As the name suggests, it is a link that takes a customer to the listing in two steps. Instead of going straight to the listing, the customer lands on a search result page, with a keyword search already filled out.
This means once the customer clicks through to the product listing, it will result in an organic click attributed to the chosen keyword. If they go on to purchase, your rankings for the specific keyword will get a natural boost.
Here’s an example:
There are several variations to the 2-Step URL, including:
- Storefront URL (brings up a product search in your seller storefront)
- Brand URL (works the same, but in your brand storefront)
- Field-ASIN URL (a keyword search confined to a particular ASIN)
These URLs are a great idea for product launches, or promo campaigns with influencers, paid ads or email marketing. What’s more, you can easily create multiple 2-Step URLs for your external traffic campaigns by using LandingCube’s URL builder:
Search Find Buy
Search Find Buy is a newer and more organic variation of 2-Step URLs. The idea is the same – making the customer actually click through to your product themselves, which creates a unique Qid timestamp.
The difference is that Search Find Buy (SFB) doesn’t send the customer to a storefront or brand search results page, which Amazon may be able to pick up on. Instead, the customer goes to the regular search page – as if they just went to Amazon.com and made a search.
The customer then searches for your product, clicks through and buys in a way that looks totally organic to Amazon.
Naturally, you need to provide an incentive for customers to actually go through the effort and do this. That’s why you’ll usually do Search Find Buy combined with high or full-price rebates.
By looking at the URL, crafty sellers figured out at some point how to turn external traffic into a boost for keyword rankings.
Basic Super URLs may not work for ranking anymore. However, you have newer methods, such as 2-Step URLs and Search Find Buy, which are quite effective.
The best method to improve your Amazon search rankings is to build a strong brand, drive traffic, get reviews and make sales. But if you need a little extra boost, specifically for one or two keywords, think about using special keyword URLs.