Amazon Removes Tags on Books for Good

Maybe you were a reader who searched for books by tags. Maybe you were an Indie author who spent hours in tagging parties hoping to increase your book’s visibility on Amazon’s search engine (whether it actually worked or not). Either way, it seems the death of tags at Amazon is officially official (to the delight of readers who felt cheated by misleading tags).

This isn’t the first time they’ve gone–back in May of 2011 they went on hiatus only to return. But this time it feels like goodbye. A wise move or a sad one?

My friend shared an email from an Amazon employee:

The original idea of Tags was to allow customers to tag items they were considering buying (for example, tagging items for a specific person as a gift), tagging products that they have purchased for later recommendations and tagging products to suggest better organization of them for Amazon. Over time Amazon has introduced new features that have replaced the TAGS functionality, including Wish Lists, Customer Reviews and Recommendations. Since the introduction of those features the usage of Tags, and therefore their value to our customers, has declined. We have removed TAGS in favor of the replacement features. Tags that you created are still available under Your Profile page.

Sounds like a concession to readers and other users who felt tags were prone to abuse by authors and merchants, therefore Amazon must have grown tired of the thousands of emails on the subject. Understandable. Let’s just hope Amazon’s new system (probably to be implemented over the coming months and years) does as much good for the people who genuinely benefited by searching with tags.

Personally, it seemed the tags helped a bunch with non-fiction sales, much more than with my novels. What are your thoughts?


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7 Responses to “Amazon Removes Tags on Books for Good”

  1. Alana Woods Says:

    I’m never sure what helps persuade perusers to buy. I’m willing to adopt a wait and see attitude about the effectiveness of the methods Amazon says has negated the need for tags. The fact that It’s all a slog never changes 🙂

  2. Angie Russell Says:

    Aww shucks! No more tags? As a indie author, a lot of time was spent tagging others author’s books with the hopes they’d tag mine too. I get what Amazon is saying about why tags were originally created, but for us indies (or at least to me), it seems like a loss not to have this feature anymore.

  3. emilyhillwriter Says:

    Hi Jason, ‘probably no big loss on the removal of the ‘tags feature’ by Amazon. It will be interesting to see what the field of indies say about this issue, over time.

    I more depend on the category listings and the social networking buttons that Amazon (and Smashwords) include on product pages which direct-tweet a book’s title and url.

    I’m with Alana; i.e. ‘the Changes’ just keep parading in front of us, big uptick in vendor platform offerings (or take-aways) over the past several months.

  4. dm yates Says:

    I like tags, and I don’t think authors and merchants abuse them as much as it is just a difference of opinion between the consumer and them.

  5. ctfranklin28 Says:

    Reblogged this on This College Dropout and commented:
    I knew I saw something different….


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