Amazon optimised for itself – WSJ

Governor Phil Murphy attends the grand opening of Amazon’s fulfillment center on September 24, 2018, in Edison. Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office.

Make no mistake, this story, in the WSJ, is a blockbuster:

Late last year, these people said, Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings so that instead of showing customers mainly the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they search—as it had for more than a decade—the site also gives a boost to items that are more profitable for the company.

Amazon’s position so far has been that it doesn’t alter search results products for anything other than relevance, price and popularity. Now, according to the WSJ at least, there’s another factor: profitability for Amazon.

This report casts doubt on that – and is extremely bad news as the firm looks to fend off reports it abuses its dominant position to push its own interests, whether by promoting its own brand products or bumping up products from others that make it the most money.

Non-denial denial from Amazon today:

“Amazon designs its shopping and discovery experience to feature the products customers will want, regardless of whether they are our own brands or products offered by our selling partners.”

Ah, and now a, er, denial denial: