As you can see from the date of the last post here I only update this blog rarely when I have something REALLY important to share.

Today is one of those days…

Today I want to tell you about the technique I’ve been using to rank eBooks to the first page of search results on Kindle for the past 18 months.

I’m willing to bet it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.   Other Kindle authors and publishers have paid me $400.00 for a one hour online training session just to show them this secret technique.

But, before I reveal the technique I need to tell you how Amazon ranks their Kindle eBooks in the Kindle Store listings. Because this is NOT something that is obvious unless you do a little research and reverse engineering.

As you probably, know the default sort when doing a keyword search in the Kindle Store is “Relevancy” as seen in this search for “weight loss”:


As you can see, there are 6,521 results for ebooks that are related to “weight loss.”

But how does Amazon determine which eBooks are related to “weight loss” and, more importantly, how does Amazon decide which eBooks to rank HIGHER within the listings for “weight loss” and which to rank lower?

The first question is fairly simple to figure out: just do some reverse engineering (basically by searching certain keywords and analyzing what shows up) to determine which fields are important for relevancy when you list your eBook.

For example try different keywords in the Title, Keyword Tags, Description, Categories, etc fields when you list your eBook. Then do a search to see if your eBook appears in the search results for the specific keyword phrase.

I’ll save you to trouble as I’ve already done this and figured out which fields in the KDP form relate to relevancy in the Kindle Store. They are:

• Title
• Search Keywords
• Category
• Description
• Author

I’m going to cover these in the order of importance.

Most important is the title.

Amazon places a lot of emphasis on the eBook Title. In the SEO world your eBook title would be comparable to a webpage title tag.

Here are two important factors I’ve discovered:

1) The closer your title matches the keyword phrase or category you are targeting the higher the relevancy.

For example, if your target keyword or category is “Dog Training” and your eBook title is “Dog Training” your title is 100% relevant to the keyword or category.

2) The closer your keyword phrase is to the beginning of your title the higher the relevancy.

Now, you have to use this information with a little common sense. Your title still needs to be enticing to the reader. It’s a delicate balance between making it relevant and catching the potential buyers attention.

I try to put my main keyword phrase at the beginning of the title and keep the rest of it as short as possible. I also make creative use of punctuation such as in the following:

Dog Training: Advanced Skills

That would be much more relevant than: Advanced Dog Training Skills

I know what you’re thinking:

“Dog Training: Dog Training” would be doubly relevant!

Good try, but sorry! Repeating your main keyword in the title does not help rankings. Plus its keyword spamming. Don’t do it.

Next in importance are the Search Keywords.

You have seven Search Keywords to use. I see people all the time leaving them blank or only entering one or two. You are really shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t use them. Your search keywords are powerful weapons in your arsenal. Here’s why:

1) They strengthen your title keyword. Always repeat your main search keyword or category in your Search Keywords. Make it the very first one.

2) You can sneak in other keywords here instead of trying to force them into your title.

Want to target people who are searching for “flat belly” even though the title of your eBook is Belly Fat? No problem! Just enter the phrase “flat belly” in one of your search fields and anytime anyone searches for “belly fat” your eBook will show in the listings.

Just don’t abuse this feature. Make sure your keywords are relevant to the topic of your eBook.

Next in importance is Category.

You’re allowed two categories. Use them both. Treat Category just like another Search Keyword. Try to find an exact match category for your eBook keyword phrase. If you can’t find one that’s exact, use the closest one. Enter your two categories into two of the Search Keywords fields.

Note: If you can’t find anything even close then email KDP Select and suggest a category for your eBook. They will usually add it for you.

Next is description.

Now, this is not to say that the Description isn’t that important. Just that the description, as far as relevancy to the search, is not as important as the other three items listed.

Here’s something important to remember about the Description: the words you enter in the description field are NOT keyword searchable. So don’t even try to keyword spam the description box. It doesn’t work and makes you look like a bozo. What your description can do as far as relevancy is strengthen your main keyword phrases. So, always repeat your main keyword phrase several times in the description.

Now, before you email and tell me:

“So and so has {xyz keyword} in the description and that keyword isn’t in the title or tags or category so it must have picked it up from the description.”

Tags are different from Search Keywords. Tags can be entered by anyone looking at the listing as long as they are an Amazon customer and are logged in. Search Keywords (the ones discussed above) can only be entered by the author (or whoever fills out the KDP form when uploading the eBook). These search keywords cannot be seen in the listing. They’re in the system. They’re searchable. But you can’t see them unless you login and edit the listing.

So, if you’re seeing an eBook come up for a search and the search keywords are in the Description field but nowhere else… I guarantee you that search phrase is also one of the Search Keywords that was entered when the listing was set up.

Finally we have the Author field.

The Author field is a searchable field. If someone does a search and the search terms match the author field (either first or last names) the listing will show up.

One way to use this is if your niche is something where you could be the expert or guru – for example knitting — you could give yourself a title that incorporates the keyword.

First Name: Knitting
Last Name: Queen

You could also add another contributor (such as an editor) and make them:

First Name: Knitting
Last Name: King

Just don’t overdo it. This is sort of gray hat but as long as you can give yourself a title that makes logical sense for your niche it should be ok.

If you do just what I mentioned above you will be able to compete with low to moderate competition to get your eBook to the top — first page — of listings for your particular keyword phrase. Low to moderate competition being under 500 results or less results.

But, now I want to share with you the GOLD… this is something I discovered about 18 months ago when i was doing a lot of experimenting and reverse engineering of Kindle’s ranking algorithm. (which took me several weeks to crack)

For relevancy ranking purposes Kindle places the MOST emphasis on how often customers purchased the eBooks they found using the keyword!!!

So, here is the BIG reveal:

Get people to search for your eBook using your keyword phrase then purchase your eBook! This will literally shoot your eBook to the top of the rankings like a rocket!

I was absolutely shocked when I saw the results of using that technique in conjunction with the tactics I described above . Books in extremely high competition niches can be ranked to the first page for whatever keyword phrase you want (provided you include the keyword in one of the fields discussed above.)

This Ranking Strategy will be explained in detail in a course that I am releasing in partnership with Matt Rhodes, John Rhodes and Jay Boyer next week. However, I’m sure you have questions and comments about it NOW. So I’m going to give away 25 advance review copies. To qualify for a review copy please leave me a comment or question about this blog post. The 25 best comments/questions will receive a review copy of this course before it’s released.

2013 is going to be the best year yet for Kindle Publishing. I’ve learned a TON of new techniques and tactics and I’m really excited about sharing them with you.

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