A secretive Amazon team reportedly tweaked its core algorithm (and violated Amazon's #1 principle)
The greatest digital real estate on Earth... is Amazon's search results. And a WSJ investigation alleges that Amazon tweaked its core search algorithm last year to boost sales of its own products. These stats about Amazon's subtle-yet-powerful search feature humbled our souls and scream the key context:
Does the name “A9” mean anything to you?... Stands for "Algorithm" (and there are "9" letters in it). A9 is the Amazon division responsible for Amazon Search — and because that valuable search tool is ripe for corruption, Amazon keeps the team away from the Seattle HQ in Silicon Valley as a subsidiary company with a separate CEO. Here's what the WSJ discovered:
This breaks Amazon's core rule: "Customer Obsession"... And could be unlawful since Amazon should be an unbiased marketplace, not a retailer pushing its own brands. But Amazon may have ignored its own laws: Its 14 leadership principles — this story violates the very first one. If Amazon tweaks search results to benefit Amazon, it's not benefiting you and us as customers.
Fun SnackFact: After the WSJ published the report, the A9 website was taken down. Awkward.