What is an Amazon Super URL? It’s a special link to your book that includes a keyword word that links to your book.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Why wouldn’t you want to use a link like that?
Apparently, some authors attempt to use them as “hacks” to make their Amazon clicks look greater than they are.
Let me put a disclaimer here: I am a technical illiterate. I don’t understand all the reasons why and how this works. It involves Amazon sales algorithms, search engines, and other mysterious “geek” things. If you want to know more about the technical side of this, here’s an excellent article.
The Super URL Problem
Let’s say you send out an author newsletter, or sign up for a book promotion on Ereader.com or Fussy Librarian. You go to Amazon, type in a keyword you know always brings up your book, and copy and paste that entire link into your newsletter or e-book promotion site. This goes out to hundreds or thousands of people. And 50 of them click on the link in the same hour. This should be great! But that code word shows Amazon that everyone who clicked on the book came from the same source.
Obviously, your promotion is working. But Amazon wants to make sure that it is correctly tracking the products that people purchase when they search a particular keyword. The more accurate their algorithm, the better the Amazon shopping experience. To put it bluntly, when you type in a keyword, Amazon wants to bring up the product you are most likely to buy.
There is a lot of information in a URL. There is a time stamp, keywords, your book rank at that moment, and more. If everyone who clicks your book in one hour uses the exact same URL, Amazon thinks you are trying to game the system. Even if you have done it by accident. And they can punish you for it.
This includes reviews as well as sales. If you put out a request for reviews with a link that includes keywords or a time stamp and get several reviews linked to that one URL, Amazon is likely to take down ALL those reviews.
What link should you use?
Use only the “foundation” of the link.
I’ll use my own book as an example. In the first link, I typed in the words “urban fantasy romance” to bring up my book. You can see that those words are listed.
But if I want to send this link out in a book promotion, I would shorten it to include only the Amazon ASIN number.
This is the safest link you can use when promoting your book. Whether you are doing it accidently, or to try to game the system, using a link with keywords or time stamps puts your sales and reviews at risk.