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Amazon Updates ‘Generic Keywords Attribute’ Field to Improve Search Results Quality and Indexing

August 18, 2017

2017-08-18 Amazon new keywords rules

Today Amazon has clarified all the uncertainty regarding keyword and search terms best practices for product pages.  This above was posted on the Seller Central Europe website and applies to all Amazon marketplaces except China.

As quoted by Amazon:
“Amazon launched a feature that limits the length of the generic keywords attribute to less than 200 bytes in Amazon.in, 500 bytes in Amazon.co.jp and 250 bytes in every other marketplace except Amazon.cn. The limits have been shown to improve the quality of search results. It applies to newly registered and existing ASINs.

Key Guidelines:

  • Keep content within the prescribed length limit (less than 250, 200 for IN, 500 for JP):
    • Length limit applies to total content in all generic keyword fields (a max. of 5 attributes).
    • Whole entry will be rejected upon exceeding limit.
    • Number of bytes equals number of characters for alphanumeric characters (e.g. a-z, 0-9) while other characters can be 2 bytes or more. Examples include ä (2 bytes), £ (2 bytes), € (3 bytes) or ❤ (3 bytes).
    • Spaces and punctuation (“;” “,”, “.”) do not contribute to the length limit, but words should be space-separated. Punctuation between words is unnecessary.
  • Optimising keyword content for search discoverability:
    • Do not include keywords that are not descriptive of the product.
    • Do not include brand names (even your own) or other product identifiers.
    • Do not duplicate content present in other attributes, such as title and bullet points.
    • No need to repeat keywords; once is enough.
    • Use keywords that are synonyms, hypernyms or spelling variations of content in visible attributes (e.g. if product title is ‘whiskey’, use ‘whisky’ in generic keywords).”

These new details make it clear that commas, spaces and other punctuation do not count towards character limits and that commas between keywords is not necessary.   Amazon also make clear that if you exceed the character limits, your entire keyword entry will not be used.  

Other important things to know are; Do not to use brand names in your keywords, do not duplicate content (repeating words) that exist in other fields.  Spelling variations of content existing in the title, description and bullet-points should be placed in the backend generic keywords field.

Now is good time to review your keywords and make sure to your listings are compliant with the new guidelines.  Taking stock of your current listing quality will help you maximize that precious listing real estate and improve your product ranking and search results visibility.