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This article applies to selling in: United States

Use Search Terms effectively

For customers to find your products on Amazon, it’s important to provide search terms they might use when searching for what they want to buy. Search terms are keywords used by search engine for lexical matching between an ASIN and a query. In this document, search terms mean terms entered by sellers into “generic_keywords” or “search terms” fields when sellers list or update an ASIN, which are indexed in search engine for matching.

Tips for drafting and optimizing your search terms include the following:

  • Maintain the text length limit of search terms.
  • Make use of synonyms.
  • Use spelling variations, but don’t include common misspellings.
  • Include abbreviations.
  • Use all lowercase letters.
  • Avoid punctuation marks such as: ";", ":", and "-."
  • Separate words with spaces.
  • Avoid repetitions.
  • Avoid articles, prepositions, or other short words such as “a,” “an,” “and,” “by,” “for,” “of,” “the,” or “with.”
  • Use either singular or plural words.

Prohibited search terms:

Violating these rules may result in your ASIN being suppressed and may put the health of your selling account at risk.

Prohibited words include the following:

  • Your brand or other brand names
  • ASINs
  • Profanity
  • Temporary statements such as “new,” or “on sale now”
  • Subjective claims, such as “best,” “cheapest,” or “amazing”
  • Offensive terms, including any terms that promote illegal activities or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance

Brand Names: Such as Apple, Nike, Amazon.
Temporary Words: Such as available now, brand new, current, discounted, just launched, last chance, last minute, latest, limited time, new, on sale, this week (month, year), today.
Subjective Words: Such as amazing, best, cheap, cheapest, effective, fastest, good deal, least, most, popular, trending.


Effective search terms

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Add search terms

To add search terms, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Inventory tab, click Manage Inventory.
  2. Click Edit corresponding to the listed product.
  3. On the new page, click the Keywords tab and enter your keywords in the Search Terms box.

For more information, go to optimize your product discoverability.

Note: Amazon may not use the search terms you supply for any reason, including but not limited to failing to follow the guidelines above.


1. What’s the difference between bytes and characters?

With respect to alphanumeric characters used in the English language (for example a - z, A - Z, 0 - 9), one byte corresponds to one character. However, more complex characters, such as umlauts in German (for example ä), can correspond to two or more bytes per character. As a result, estimating the character count can be more complex than estimating the bytes count. For this reason, the Search Terms field in Seller Central stops accepting inputs when the byte limit is reached.

2. Are spaces and punctuation counted?

No. For the purpose of calculating the length of search terms, Amazon Search does not count spaces or punctuation. For readability, search terms should be separated by spaces. Punctuation is used, but not recommended.

3. Why is there only one Search Terms field?

The Search Terms fields were reduced from five fields to one field to improve the quality of Amazon search results and reduce the amount of superfluous search terms. The reduced quota of search terms helps sellers focus on only using relevant words to describe their products.

4. What happened to the Search Terms in the removed fields when the Search Terms fields were reduced to one?

To facilitate the reduction of the Search Terms fields from five to one, the content of all Search Terms fields was combined into one field and sellers were requested to modify the content of this field to meet the bytes limit and save their changes.

5. How do I update the search terms for my ASINs in bulk?

If the "Category Listing Report" option is enabled under the Inventory tab in your Seller Central account, you can download a spreadsheet of the existing listings. If it is not enabled, you can ask Selling Partner Support to enable that option in your account. Once you've downloaded your current listings, you can use an Inventory file template to perform bulk upload changes using the partial update function.

6. Why are some of my search terms not searchable?

Amazon determines the relevancy of search terms automatically in order to optimize search results and improve the customer experience. As a result, the terms deemed relevant may change over time as Amazon gathers data. This is an automated process and Amazon may not use all search terms supplied by sellers.

Your search terms can also be eliminated, if you have used prohibited search terms such as brand names, ASINs, or offensive language. For more information on how to optimize and improve your product discoverability, go to Optimize your product discoverability.

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