This likely won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but Amazon has adjusted its own algorithm to benefit, well, Amazon. According to a report last week in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon adjusted its product-search system to more prominently feature listings that are more profitable for the company.
That’s according to people who worked on the project for Amazon, according to anonymous sources cited by the newspaper.
The sources told The Wall Street Journal that late last year Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings to boost items that are more profitable for the company instead of primarily showing customers the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they searched (as had been the case for more than a decade).
Of course, the world’s biggest online retailer didn’t publicize the adjustment. Apparently, according to the newspaper, an internal battle has played out between executives for years over whether to make this move or not. The battle pitted Amazon executives who run the retail side (based in Seattle) vs. Amazon’s A9 search team (in Palo Alto, Calif.). The sources told the WSJ that the search team opposed the move.
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