What a journey it has been! Way back in 2014, I opened a case with Seller Central to alert them that Add-A-Product was delivering misleading information. In 2015, I wrote a blog post stating I was elated that changes were underway to correct the contradictory details. In 2016, I reported that some progress had been made, but we weren’t done yet. The “done” part would take another year!
While there are multiple problems with the title TOS throughout all of Amazon, the biggest concern I had was that the Add-A-Product dashboard was informing sellers they had a legal character count of 250 when anything over 200 would cause Amazon’s suppression rule to kick in and demote their listings in the search results.
Here’s a brief overview in case you weren’t aware of that policy:
According to Amazon (in the email from July of 2015 and Seller Support messages from recently), any title in any category that is over 200 characters will be suppressed from the search results. Please note: It doesn’t say “removed” from the search results — it says “suppressed” (stifled, censored, buried).
Today, however, there was dancing in the hallways of the Marketing Words’ office! I received an answer to yet another case I’d opened in Seller Central and read (with enormous glee) the following sentence:
“However, the most recent changes have been added to the
seller central > add a product interface and the system will
throw an error and populate error message
if it’s not meeting any of the style guideline.”
What?! Really?! I quickly opened a browser and – as fast as my little fingers would type – clicked over to Seller Central and began a bit of light testing. Yes! It IS true! (At least in the categories I viewed.) The system does, in fact, give an error message if your title exceeds 200 characters. Yay!
No more going one character over and having your listing accidently suppressed.
No more bewilderment about why you can’t gain any ground in the rankings when everything seems to be OK.
Here are a handful of screenshots from the Home, Pets, Arts & Crafts and Baby categories/subcategories.
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I’d love it if you’d check the categories you sell in and report back in the comments section below. Are you seeing the same thing?
If you’ve been having issues getting a listing to rank, check the title character count. If you’re even one character over the 200-character limit, that could be the issue.
Thank you, Amazon!
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