Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Amazon began making changes to its search results last year to prioritize profitability over relevance, according to The Wall Street Journal. Those changes were reportedly spurred on by demands from Amazon’s retail divisions and private label team, and they’re said to have the effect of often boosting Amazon’s own products in search listings.
To avoid antitrust concerns at a time when Amazon’s role as both a product maker and a platform company are under scrutiny, Amazon doesn’t directly boost products based on how profitable they are, according to the report. Instead, the Journal says that Amazon boosts other factors that its search engine can consider, which collectively have the effect of elevating more profitable products.