What Happened to Amazon Platinum Keywords and the Webstore?
When Amazon killed off one of their early projects, Amazon Webstore, in 2016, they also discontinued the Platinum Seller program.
- What Was Amazon Webstore?
- Why Did Amazon Webstore Fail?
- Amazon Webstore vs Amazon Store
- How Did You Become a Platinum Seller on Amazon and Amazon Webstore?
- What Are Platinum Keywords on Amazon Seller Central?
- How to Find Platinum Keywords on Amazon?
- Amazon Platinum Keywords Examples
- In Conclusion
What Was Amazon Webstore?
As an add-on, businesses could advertise their products and stores using Amazon Product Ads. And as Amazon Webstore merchants, they could automatically offer Prime shipping to their customers. Many top brands quickly started to use Amazon Webstore, but its time in the sun was short-lived.
Why Did Amazon Webstore Fail?
The simplest answer? Competition.
By 2014, companies like BigCommerce and Shopify made noise in the eCommerce world and pulled brands and retailers over to their platforms. eBay didn’t do Amazon any favors, either. They shut down their popular Magento Go software in 2014 and recommended all of their customers migrate to BigCommerce.
On top of this, Amazon wasn’t getting the expected results from the Webstore. Not as many online sellers as they had anticipated adopted it fully and without reservation. In general, the number of sellers on the platform decreased as the new players entered the scene fueled by massive amounts of venture capital.
There just wasn’t enough separation between using Amazon Webstore and just using plain old Amazon to the average seller, so it didn’t make sense operationally for Amazon to keep Webstore alive running on such tight margins.
Amazon Webstore vs Amazon Store
Therefore there wasn’t any time to waste and Amazon got right down to business by building Amazon Store in the wake of Amazon Webstore. In the meantime, they provided existing Webstore customers around a year to find other solutions and shop around if these Webstore owners wanted to migrate to a new platform. In fact, they reached out directly to Shopify and engineered a partnership which made it very attractive for former Amazon Webstore merchants to move onto Shopify.
With the launch of the Amazon Store in 2018, brands were once again lured back to the platform due to the ability to build fully customized stores within Amazon. Amazon learned from the failures of Amazon Webstore, however, providing a much more robust experience that would ensure brands could fully protect their intellectual property and leverage the substantial technological cache and relationships Amazon has established over time.
With Brand Registry, brands now had an opportunity to protect intellectual property and safeguard all other elements related to their brand, within the platform. With the additional introduction of A+ Content, sellers could create enhanced product listings that would help their brand to have a unique look and feel and stand out from the sea of competition on the platform.
How Did You Become a Platinum Seller on Amazon and Amazon Webstore?
You had to sustain high levels of sales volume and customer service ratings for an extended period to have an opportunity to get into the Platinum Seller program. More than likely, Amazon would have invited you directly to join as a Platinum Seller. Amazon intentionally kept the thresholds for sales to receive an invite very quiet. There were all types of rumors regarding the points you had to reach – and maintain – to achieve Platinum Status and stay there. But Amazon did a first-class job at keeping the exact numbers private.
It was hardly a common occurrence, and those invited were highly successful on the platform through their efforts for an extended time. However, with an invite, the benefits were extensive, including the opportunity to create custom storefronts and the near certainty you’d outrank your competition constantly and have a clear path to the Buy Box consistently.
Another exciting feature was the ability to get paid weekly rather than every two weeks and a purported increase in visibility of your products simply by being a Platinum Seller. Platinum Sellers also received preferential treatment product placement on general product pages over lower-tiered merchants competing for a position.
Amazon Platinum Sellers also could sell products restricted to the other tiers or Amazon sellers. This feature was one of the most buzzed-about during the life of the Platinum Seller Program and Amazon Webstore. It was perceived to be granting preferential treatment and separating one set of Amazon sellers from the others.
Why do we mention all of this? Well, Platinum Keywords only applied if you were a Platinum Seller and don’t have all that much tangible value any longer now that the program is gone.
What Are Platinum Keywords on Amazon Seller Central?
These keywords also allowed Platinum Sellers to build their storefronts in a way that maximized visibility of the products they most want to promote to their customer base. The keywords essentially helped sellers organize product “trees” that made their products easy to navigate on Webstore storefronts or regular Amazon product pages.
There wasn’t a need for Amazon to keep Platinum Keywords with the introduction of Amazon Store, so they weren’t maintained when Amazon’s new service was launched to take on the temporary competition which they encouraged to some extent by partnering with Shopify at the time of Webstore being discontinued.
After all, like we’ve said plenty of times before: Amazon isn’t a charity, and the more money these Platinum Sellers made, the more Amazon made.
So it would make sense they would restrict customization to top sellers, so it was most impactful for their businesses and encouraged them to stay on the platform and not jump ship to Shopify, Big Commerce, or another competitor.
This type of customization was not available to other merchants on Amazon, even those who achieved Professional Seller status.
The platinum keywords box is still visible to all Amazon merchants – regardless of level – but only directly affected how products appeared for Platinum merchants. That said, there’s no particular reason to fill out those fields because they won’t help you much from an SEO perspective.
On the flip side, there’s no reason not to. As much as has been studied about Amazon’s SEO standards and the effect of SEO on your product pages’ visibility, there’s still plenty about their algorithm that’s a mystery.
Why not add something there anyhow?
It’s not going to hurt your listings in any way.
Read More: How to use TikTok to promote your Amazon Brand and Products.
How to Find Platinum Keywords on Amazon?
First, log in to Amazon Seller Central.
1. Hover over the “Inventory” menu item, then click on “Manage Inventory.
2. From there, click on “Edit Listing” to add Platinum Keywords for a particular listing.
3. When you navigate to the Keywords tab (using the Amazon Keyword tool), you’ll see the slot to check out existing Platinum Keywords or add new ones to your product listings.
Keep in mind that it’s optional to add keywords to the Platinum Keywords section of your Amazon Seller Central account, but it couldn’t hurt to do so to cover all of your bases.
If you decide to use these keywords, make sure to treat them with the same care you would in any of your other keywords. If you’re using Amazon Keyword Tracking, it’s worthwhile to isolate some keywords you can use in the Platinum Keywords section.
Use proper capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and the like to maintain your seller account’s overall integrity and quality, no matter the level where you currently are or the level you’re looking to attain.
Amazon Platinum Keywords Examples
Since Amazon Platinum Keywords did not serve promotional purposes in the same way as traditional search-driven keywords. These keywords had to do with an item’s placement on a Platinum Seller’s product page or a product category they were selling within their overall product mix.
When Amazon Webstore was active, platinum keywords were a mechanism to categorize your products and create a visual design on your Platinum product pages that would be pleasant and impactful for your store’s visitors.
It also had to do with isolating sub-categories within product categories. For example, let’s say you were selling tennis shoes. A platinum category might be tennis shoes (the “parent” category for SEO purposes.)
A platinum sub-category (or “child” category, as Amazon sometimes called them) would be blue tennis shoes. Light blue tennis shoes could be an even deeper “sub-sub-category” if you wanted to take your site structure to that level.
Due to the competition level that new, venture-capital-backed entrants onto the scene presented, Platinum Keywords went the way of the dinosaur as Webstore began to fade before being discontinued.
There was a lot of mythology surrounding what it meant to be a Platinum Seller and just how much power those sellers had on the platform. One thing was sure, only the heaviest of hitters were a part of the club.
And Amazon was convinced that creating this level of status for these sellers would be a way to ensure their wallets got even fatter. This hope didn’t end up being the case, but you certainly can’t blame Amazon for trying.
It made sense to reward the rich hoping they would get richer with some preferential treatment and positioning on the platform, and in the process, make Amazon more money.
What they couldn’t have anticipated, necessarily, is that successful Amazon merchants wouldn’t be 100% content with sticking with the platform just because they had success there. Platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, and Magento were offering – and still provide – unique experiences to successful sellers, which allow for much greater levels of customization and brand-forward positioning than Amazon ever thought to provide.
After all, Amazon’s the shark here. They don’t have to offer a ton of customization – even to their most potent sellers – to be the biggest fish in the sea. Their overwhelming presence in the market allows them to try experiments like Amazon Webstore and Platinum Seller designations and fail at these without any long-lasting repercussions.
That’s the benefit of having money to burn.
Amazon Seller Platinum Keywords are proof everything isn’t about SEO. These keywords were used more for categorization and customization than for search rankings. Amazon provided so much additional leverage to Platinum Sellers that Platinum Keywords didn’t need to be used for search, anyhow.
Just because these keywords aren’t still active doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of the slots provided. Granted, you are aware of maintaining the same high grammatical and syntax standards you would use with any other keywords for your listings.
Check out Datahawk’s Amazon Keyword Ranking Tool and resources to learn how to take your research to the next level and use the keywords that make the most sense for your product mix, your niche, and the level of competition you face.
Your status on Amazon was somewhat mythical. Often a topic of conversation on message boards, forums, and blog posts, no one seems to have a clear answer on what it took to get there. Platinum Seller status was discontinued by Amazon several years ago, but it’s still a hot topic.