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RebelMouse and Amazon Onsite Associates Program

Amazon has recently begun adding editorial content to the search results on their site. This is a part of their Onsite Associates Program (OSP), which is an extension of their Amazon Associates (affiliate) program.

This is a really cool way for Amazon to pull in third-party content that discusses a particular product type to enhance listings, and it's a great way to give users detailed information about products that is divorced from the actual seller of the product. We've recently updated our RSS Feed structure so that you can easily send your content to Amazon to take advantage of this program.


What Is the Onsite Associates Program?

Editorial recommendations are pieces of content from websites that are syndicating content to Amazon to give people searching for products detailed editorial information about specific products. You've probably already seen these in action if you do much shopping through Amazon.

When you search for a particular product type, as you scroll down through Amazon's results page, you'll often see something like this:

In this example, The Angle has written an article on the best baseball gloves, and has been approved to submit its content to Amazon. Because of the keywords in use, Amazon is then able to select the appropriate editorial content to add to a user's product search. The results will also rotate, so some users may see this content, and some may see other content.

How Do I Sign Up?

To be featured in Amazon's editorial recommendations you have to submit your site to Amazon for approval, and then have an RSS Feed that meets their requirements. The submission process for approval is based on an invitation from Amazon. If you have an Amazon account representative, you can reach out to them to discuss whether or not you're eligible to receive an invitation.

Where Does RebelMouse Fit In?

Amazon has certain required fields for submitting editorial content to be featured. We are able to customize your Entry Editor to be sure that all required fields are included, and are marked as required before publication. This ensures that when the content gets to Amazon, it's got all of the required information in place. The additional required fields are pulled into the RSS Feed automatically and/or are hard coded.

You can see in the following screenshot that we can set up your hamburger menu (☰) to be able to select a specific Entry Editor layout for creating OSP posts:

This version of Entry Editor will make sure that the post you create will have the required elements. You can see that the requirements are marked with an asterisk:

In addition, if you attempt to publish a post without the required fields being entered, you will receive a warning prompting you to complete the fields (title, and one e-commerce particle that includes a headline, body text, and purchase URL):

This process ensures that the posts being sent to OSP will have the specified fields required by Amazon. Additionally, we make sure that the posts will automatically be assigned to the appropriate section on your site that's dedicated to OSP, so that they don't publish to your home page or other section pages (unless you want them to!).

We also are able to create custom RSS Feeds, and have built a specific feed for Amazon, so that not only does your content contain the required information, but it's also automatically formatted to their feed requirements.

Please note that the overall setup will require approximately three billable services hours from our development team to implement, and to properly train your team on how to use this feature. In addition, we will need the following information from you:

  1. The section where you will publish your content
  2. Title: The title of your brand/website
  3. Description: A brief description of the RSS channel

Required Fields

As mentioned above, Amazon requires certain fields to be in the RSS Feed. Here is a list of those required elements and how RebelMouse handles them:

Channel Elements

  • Title: The title of your brand/website
    • Hardcoded into the feed
  • Link: The base URL of your site
    • Hardcoded into the feed
  • Description: A brief description of the RSS channel
    • Hardcoded into the feed
  • Language: The language the RSS Feed is written in
    • Hardcoded into the feed
  • lastBuildDate: The last time any content from the channel changed
    • Hardcoded into the feed
  • amzn:rssVersion: The version number of the Amazon RSS spec.
    • Hardcoded into the feed

Item Elements

  • Title: The headline of the article
    • Required field in Entry Editor
  • Link: The canonical URL for the individual article
    • Hardcoded from the article URL
  • pubDate: The date the article was published, or last updated
    • Hardcoded from the individual article's publish date
  • Author: The author of the article
    • Hardcoded from the Author field of the individual article
  • Content:encoded: The full HTML content of the article
    • Hardcoded from the article
  • Amzn:products: This is a container element holding information about all product recommendations associated with the article
    • This is a wrapper, hardcoded from the CMS
  • Amzn:product: Child element of <amzn:products>. Container for each individual product in the article. There is a minimum of three products per article to be eligible for OSP.
    • Each individual particle is its own amzn:product in the feed
  • Amzn:productURL: Individual URL of a product in the article
    • Individual particle URL slugs are used here
  • Amzn:productSummary: A brief description (or pull quote) of the individual product
    • The body text of an individual particle
  • Amzn:rank: Specifies the rank of the individual products in the list
    • This is in order from best to worst, with the ranking determined from the spot in Particle Assembler, i.e., the first particle is the best (rank #1) and the last is the worst
  • Amzn:award: A concise editorial designation of the individual product in the list. For example, "Best headphones for running," "Best headphones for working," etc.
    • Individual particle image credit
  • amzn:indexContent: The value of this element determines if content is eligible to be indexed by external search engines such as Google and Bing.
    • Hardcoded into the feed

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

By getting your content into Amazon's editorial recommendation system, you'll not only be able to promote your brand, but you'll also be able to reap some revenue benefits. It works very similarly to how affiliate links currently work. If an Amazon user goes through your content and purchases from the product link in your content, you can receive a small commission.

Of course there are some minor drawbacks as well, such as you are not currently able to add any links back to your site from the editorial content. Additionally, as of now, the products in your articles need to be structured specifically from best to worst in ranking. This can be accomplished by putting your highest-ranking (best) product in the first particle, and then adding products sequentially thereafter according to rank.

Interested in getting started? Contact your account manager or reach out to support@rebelmouse.com!

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