Starting July 22nd, 2019, Amazon will suppress ASINs from Amazon’s search results when their titles don’t comply with Amazon’s product title requirements.
In a statement from Amazon, they said the reason for the change is to improve customer experience, since they found that listings violating their terms of service tended to produce poor customer experiences.
New guidelines for ASIN product titles accompanied Amazon’s announcement but, to make your life easier, I’ve listed those requirements below.
Product title guidelines
200 characters maximum is the general rule. However, some product categories allow longer titles, so be sure to follow the right category-specific instructions.
- Capitalize the first letter of each word.
- Do not use ALL CAPS.
- Conjunctions (and, or, for) and articles (the, a, an) should NOT be capitalized.
- Don’t capitalize prepositions with fewer than five letters (in, on, over, with).
Numbers and symbols:
- Use numerals (2 instead of two)
- Spell out measurements ( 6 inches, not 6″ )
- Don’t use symbols, such as ~ ! * $ ?
- Don’t use Type 1 High ASCII characters (Æ, ©, ô, etc.)
- Include the size and color in “child” ASINs for variations1
- Don’t include price or promotional messages, such as “sale” or “free ship”
- Don’t use subjective commentary, such as “Hot Item” or “Best Seller”
- Your merchant name for Brand or Manufacturer information should not be included, unless your product is Private Label
Titles using variation relationships
In Variation relationships, only the title of the parent ASIN is shown on the detail page. The title for the selected child ASIN will appear once the ASIN is added to the customer’s cart, so it is important to include the variation attributes (such as size and color) in the title for the child ASIN.
- Example parent: Crocs Beach Clog
- Example child: Crocs Beach Clog, Lime, Medium (Women’s 8-9 M US/Men’s 6-7 M US)
1See the Variation relationships Help page for more information about parent-child products.
There is a lot going on here, so let’s take a look at what this means.
First, most titles must now be 200 characters, instead of 250. Instead of titles over-stuffed with keywords, Amazon wants its products to have clearer, more concise titles.
However, this decrease in the title’s character count may not be an issue for many sellers. For example, here is what Jungle Stix’s current title looks like on Amazon:
At first glance, it seems like a long title, but we’re within the character limit. Using a character counter, I discovered that our title has 190 characters, meaning we won’t have to make any changes in that respect.
As for the other guidelines, we’re already adhering to most of those.
We use numerals and have spelled out inch. The only thing we still need to edit is ‘mm’. It’s probably best to spell out millimeter, since it is a measurement. Plus, even with those extra eight letters, our title is still under the 200 character max.
Naturally, with big changes come big conversations. This past week, Facebook was abuzz with this major change. Interestingly, the majority of sellers were positive about the coming change.
“I think it’s a great idea. Some listings are so long they are unreadable, with irrelevant keyword stuffing.” – Sam B.
“Still not clear if it applies to ALL categories. relevant pages, style guides, etc. have not been updated.” – Barry D.
“As a buyer, I am happy with shortening titles. As a seller I want my buyer to be happy so I will shorten the title.” – Geoff W.
“Good. Clean up the site.” – Cory S.
“I personally think this is a good thing. Some of those titles are obnoxious.” – Bryan C.
“Amazon’s URLs have never conformed to Google’s standards. I have a feeling that Amazon product listings will rank higher with shorter titles.” – Alco B.
Remember, big or small, every seller is affected by this change. So, slimming down the character count of your titles to 200 will not affect your ability to compete in the marketplace, since everyone else has to do it too.
If anything, it will make finding your product in Amazon’s search engine a lot easier.
All in all, this is a big win for Amazon and its sellers.
To ensure you’re in compliance by July 22nd, log into Amazon Seller Central now and change your titles. The process is simple:
And that’s it!
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