If you’re wondering what will happen to your product ranking when you close a listing on Amazon, you’re not alone.
This seems to be a topic that gets circled back on every now and then as the Amazon A9 algorithm is a hidden secret, knowing exactly how it reacts to you closing the listing is impossible – so it leaves us guessing and looking for data.
Let’s look at what technically happens to understand how it might impact your ranking on Amazon.
Closing Listings on Amazon
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What Technically Happens When You Close a Listing On Amazon?
Good question – what does close listing mean on Amazon?
Basically, your product will temporarily be unavailable for purchase by an Amazon customer through Amazon. This is only temporary whilst you leave the Amazon Listing Closed, you can “reopen” or relist the Amazon product at any time.
Closing an Amazon listing means that your sales history, reviews and ratings will all be retained.
So when you do relist the product for sale on Amazon, it’s like nothing ever happened right?
What happens when you close a listing on Amazon?
When you close an Amazon listing, your product won’t be available for sale on the Amazon Marketplace you closed the listing on. Amazon do however state that you will retain your product sales history. They’ll also allow you to relist the product whenever you’re ready to start selling that product again.
What Happens To Best Seller Rank When You Close a Listing On Amazon?
You probably already know the answer to this one if you’ve ever closed or not closed a listing when you’ve gone out of stock with Amazon FBA.
Your BSR ceases to display or be accessible if you close the listing.
This is because your instantaneous sales rank is infinitely high – the product is unavailable for purchase.
If you leave the listing open on the other hand, you’ll steadily see the best seller rank increasing – this is the reason why SO MANY Amazon Sellers got into the habit of closing listings when out of stock.
Because they could SEE the number going up, they wanted a way to make it stop – and closing the listing gets rid of the visible reporting of BSR altogether.
Does the A9 Algorithm care about whether you can see the BSR or not?
I highly doubt it.
Ultimately, you’re out of stock so the Amazon algorithm has removed you from the equation anyway.
Possible Explanations For Negative Impacts on Keyword Ranking on Amazon When NOT Closing Listings
One of the issues that can occur when you DON’T close a listing when out of stock is that intermittent availability of stock happens.
This means when Amazon finds a product they’d lost, or they process a return back into a fulfillable state your listing sporadically jumps back into the running in the Amazon A9 Algorithm.
Then when the “1 unit” that became available is sold, it’s gone again.
Then maybe this happens again in 24 or 48 hours and then again, and maybe again.
Ultimately the Amazon listing is now “limping along”, getting sales for very few keywords and probably creating a weird and whacky data profile for the Amazon algorithm to weigh up against a million other factors.
Sporadic or weird data profiles are difficult for any Algorithm to handle predictably.
Sometimes these types of impacts on algorithms can fall in our favour. Other times they can have weird affects that make trying to understand what’s going on impossible and any efforts to correct the ‘issue’ just lead to unpredictable results.
The A9 Algorithm is a computer, not a human.
But if you try and empathise with it for a second (because you’re a human with empathy) you’ll understand that you’re probably making life difficult for the algorithm when you feed it this kind of data.
Clean, consistent, predictable data is easier to read, understand and process.
Messy data with interruptions will lead to unpredictable results.
Should I Close My Amazon Listing When Out Of Stock on Amazon FBA?
Is there a negative impact to closing your listing?
Amazon says it retains your sales history – so that doesn’t appear to be a problem.
The A9 Algorithm gets a clear “no availability” flat-line signal to process – it’s clean data.
It’s difficult to see a negative.
Is there a positive impact to closing your listing?
If you’re going to be intermittently in and out of stock due to the availability of a few units here and there, it’s likely you’re going to be throwing off some sporadic data signals to the A9 Algorithm (we suggest, we don’t know!)
So with very little potential for negative impact and a potential positive impact, it seems the logical approach is to close your Amazon listing when you run out of stock.
It’s a low effort action that ultimately could help you gain sales rank and keyword rank more quickly when your product returns into stock at Amazon FBA.
Close Listing vs Delete Product and Listing
In contrast with closing an Amazon listing, if you delete an Amazon listing – you’re in essence removing that product from the live Amazon catalogue – along with it’s sales history, reviews, images and written content…or so you’d think and hope!
But here’s the truth…
Even if you Delete a product from your Amazon Seller Central account, the product is still technically in the Amazon catalogue. It’s not like a website page that you’ve created and you can simply “unpublish” it.
Instead – Amazon PRESERVE the content of the catalogue item IN CASE SOMEONE ELSE wants to sell the product in the future.
This could be someone who’s bought your product, then wants to sell it second hand on the listing. Or, as has been the case for a number of years – a (typically Chinese Black Hat) seller finds the abandoned listing and essentially “takes ownership” for it in their seller central account.
Yes – they can do that.
The Amazon Product Listing is then repurposed for their “new” product – but has the benefit of having a bunch of REVIEWS. The Black Hat seller is less interested in the sales history, but picking up an abandoned Amazon Product Listing with 20+, 100+, 500+ reviews would likely give a conversion boost out of the gate – making their “NEW” product actually appear to be well established.
Brand registry plays a relatively significant part in the above of course – so if you do have Brand Registry, there are ways in which you can limit edits to the listing. That being said, if you delete it from your Amazon Seller Account – you’re likely not paying attention to it anyway – but your brand name could be getting misused!
Amazon Delete Product And Listing Explained
The difference between closing an Amazon product listing and deleting an Amazon product listing is hopefully now a lot clearer. You also now know what to look out for as possible impacts if you do or don’t close an Amazon listing when your product is out of stock.
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