E-commerce giant Amazon.com reportedly made some tweaks to its product search algorithm in an attempt to give greater prominence to products that are more profitable for the company, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Citing people who worked on the project, The Journal indicated that Amazon optimized its algorithm in a way that boosts listings of items that are profitable for the company – not just those that are most relevant or bestsellers corresponding to customers’ searches.
The report also mentioned that the algo adjustment was made late last year, and followed a conflict between executives who run the company’s retail division in Seattle and a search team in California called A9, which was opposed to the change.
Amazon, however, denied the allegations. Its spokeswoman Angie Newman has indicated to the Journal that the company designs its search results to reflect customers preferences, irrespective of whether they are the company’s own brands or are products offered by its selling partners.
Amazon also put out a tweet refuting the charges .”@WSJ story based on anonymous sources is wrong. We have not changed the criteria we use to rank search results to include profitability. We feature products customers want, regardless of whether they are our own brands or products offered by our selling partners. “