Evolution of an Amazon Detail Page

As you probably know, I put together a book called Amazon Hacks a couple years ago, and there are a couple of other books I've worked on, so I have a few reasons to watch Amazon very closely. One way that I watch Amazon is by subscribing to an Amazon RSS feed that lets me know when new books in the Hacks Series are available. On August 9th I noticed that another Hacks book I put together—Yahoo! Hacks—was available for pre-order and I posted about it. At the same time, I set up a script to take a screenshot of the Amazon detail page for Yahoo! Hacks every day at 4:10pm. I wanted to watch the page evolve, and have a record of how the page looked at various stages of development. I often think of Amazon detail pages as static, but they change quite a bit over time. Because there's no way to go back in time for individual books (unless you can go wayback on a title), there's no record of this change.

So with that in mind, here's a rough timeline of the evolution of the Yahoo! Hacks detail page I found by watching the screenshots.

August 9th [view]
  • Page added
  • Price is at list price of $24.95
August 16th [view]
  • The Editorial Review gets better formatting
  • Page count jumps from 352 to 452
August 23rd [view]
  • Cover image added
  • First Sales Rank ranking
August 31st [view]
  • Related Listmania! and Guides added
September 6th [view]
  • Amazon drops price to $16.47 (standard Amazon discount)
  • Page count at 488 pages
September 10th [view]
  • Editorial review has even better formatting with bullets
September 28th [view]
  • Page count at 489 pages
October 19th [view]
  • Buy button changed from "Pre-order" to "Add to Shopping Cart" (I posted about it)
October 24th [view]
  • Product dimensions added
October 30th [view] November 23rd [view]
  • First customer review is added (it's good! shew.)
So yeah, probably of no interest to anyone but me. But I thought I'd share what I found. By the way, Flickr Hacks is available for pre-order at Amazon now. You too can watch that page evolve.
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