Why Was Your AMS Ad Stopped?



Advertisements for KDP Select books placed through Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) can now be stopped by Amazon.

Why are some KDP ad campaigns stopping?

Due to low relevance.

Low relevance can mean more than one thing.

The most common explanation is that the click-to-views ratio is very small, probably small compared to 1 in 1000 (or 0.1%). If you’re getting 4000 views per click, for example, your AMS ad is likely to be stopped due to low relevance.

That’s not the only possible explanation, but the click-to-views ratio is the simplest way for Amazon to measure the relevance of your ad. If only 1 out of 4000 people who see your ad clicks on it, your ad evidently isn’t very relevant to the people who see it. In contrast, if 1 out of 300 people who see an ad click on it, that ad is more relevant to the people who see it.

There are other ways to determine relevance, such as comparing the list of targeted products to the categories and keywords of the book.

Most of the factors that affect relevance also impact the click-to-views ratio, so this probably is a very good indicator.

Why does Amazon care?

  • Authors only pay for clicks, not views. So Amazon is losing money on ads with very low click-to-view ratios.
  • The advertisements will lose their effectiveness if many ads have low relevance, as people will start ignoring them out of habit. (Don’t worry: Amazon is preventing this by stopping ads that show low relevance.)
  • A few authors have indubitably abused the system by intentionally targeting products with low relevance. (Yes, I can think of examples, but I won’t share them. Let’s not add to the abuse.)


If your AMS ad was stopped due to low relevance, you can start a new KDP ad campaign for the same book.

You’ll want to improve the relevance for your ad so that your next ad doesn’t get stopped.

Here are ways to improve your ad’s relevance:

  • If you originally targeted by interest, switch to product targeting instead.
  • If you originally targeted by product, select a shorter list of more relevant products. Spend more time researching a product list.
  • If your cover may not instantly reveal the book’s genre or content, a cover that better attracts your target audience may impact your relevance.

Better targeting is usually the cure to improved relevance.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.


Click here to jump to the comments section:


6 comments on “Why Was Your AMS Ad Stopped?

  1. Always finding useful information – and sharing it.

    Thanks, Chris. I would never have thought about this. I assume they give the ad a bit of time before they pull it?

    It makes sense: otherwise you could pay just to occupy their real estate – without them gaining anything.

    Now there will arise click farms in third-world countries, where some scammer will be paid to make sure your ad gets more clicks, thus artificially enhancing its relevance.

    For a fee, of course. Then we will be back in the realm of ‘money talks.’

    I know they all say ‘write a good book,’ but getting that little book started is non-trivial. Very interesting.

    • The ad usually generates 10k to 20k views before being pulled.

      AMS isn’t new to Amazon; it’s big money, with $15k+ ads from major brands and self-serve ads from marketing gurus. And so the algorithm already ignores certain kinds of clicks. (It’s also not so easy to find your own ad in some cases, especially as the ads follow browsing history rather than products, although there is a way).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s