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Super Important Update About Amazon Keywords

Discussion in 'Advertising, Marketing, Social Media' started by Vigilante, Jul 28, 2017.

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  1. Vigilante
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    Vigilante Legendary Contributor Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    For anyone that sells on Amazon, I came across this information today posted by an Amazon mod on the Amazon Seller Forum. Hard to believe that something this important wouldn't be formally communicated, but this is Amazon we are talking about...

    This is of particular importance to those of you (@LightHouse) that use flat files to take keywords up into the thousands of characters. Your search results will be suppressed, effective immediately per below.

    Hello Sellers,

    We understand your concern with the input of search keywords.

    Amazon launched a feature that limits the length of the generic keywords attribute to less than 200 bytes in the IN marketplace, 500 bytes in the JP marketplace and 250 bytes in every other marketplace except the CN marketplace. The limits have shown to improve the quality of Search results. To date, the Search team has been suppressing generic keyword attributes that exceed these limits. This will apply to newly registered ASINs as well as existing ASINs.

    We recommend following the guidelines below to optimize your use of the generic keywords attribute.

    Key Guidelines for the Generic Keywords Attribute:

    Keep the content within the prescribed length limit (less than 250, 200 for IN, 500 for JP):
    • The length limit applies to the total content in all generic keyword fields (A max of 5 attributes).
    • Number of bytes equals number of characters for alphanumeric characters (i.e. a–z, A–Z, 0–9) while other characters, such as umlauts (e.g. ä), each correspond to 2 bytes or more. Examples of other character byte sizes include £ (2 bytes), € (3 bytes) or ❤ (3 bytes).
    • Spaces and punctuation (“;” “,” “.”) do not contribute to the length limit, but words should still be separated by spaces. There is no need for punctuation, such as commas, between words.
    Guidelines for optimizing 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 that is present in other attributes, such as title and bullet points.
    • There is no need to repeat keywords; once is enough.
    • We recommend using keywords that are synonyms, hypernyms, or spelling variations of content in visible attributes (e.g. if the product title contains ‘whiskey’, the generic keyword attribute may contain spelling variations (‘whisky’); if the product is a ‘guitar’, the generic keywords may contain a hypernym (‘musical instrument’).

    For further information, please refer to the optimize listings for search and browse help page .

    -Susan

    I had a question sent to me in a Private Message, and I wanted to make a clarification here.

    The prescribed length limit is less than 250 in ALL markets, except IN, JP and CN. Therefore, the prescribed length limit is less than 250 for the NA marketplaces, .ca, .com, .mx

    Edited by: SusanH@SellerSupport on Jul 20, 2017 10:48 AM
     
  2. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Well, that's annoying, I really hate working on inventory file uploads.


    Thanks for the share.
     
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  3. JAJT
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    JAJT Ha Ha! Business Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Don't know how I missed this thread, but glad I found it.

    My sales have dropped literally by 75% in the last few weeks and I couldn't figure out why. It seems like other sellers experienced similar issues from googling the issue based on this thread.

    All my "search term" fields are listed at 1,000 characters (which is what amazon says their limit is on the damn listing).

    Here's a relevant thread on this: https://www.sellerlabs.com/blog/amazons-250-character-indexing-maximum-means-merchants/

    Looks like it's a TOTAL of 250 as well, not 250 x 5 lines.

    I'm changing this immediately and will report back in a few weeks to see if this made a difference.
     
  4. Envision
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    Envision Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    @Vigilante & @JAJT how are you setting up your keywords?

    250 words no commas?
     
  5. JAJT
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    JAJT Ha Ha! Business Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Commas haven't been needed in a long time, supposedly.

    They don't hurt anything, but I've seen no evidence that they help either.
     
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  6. Cableabe
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    I first heard of this on a podcast a couple weeks back, which indicated that (back-end) keywords surpassing the 250 character limit (total for all 5 lines) would not be indexed for Search.

    Appreciate the share, I will be updating several listings immediately.
     
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  7. Denim Chicken
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    Denim Chicken Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    This may be why when I launched my first amazon product on Monday it only indexed 60% of the keywords or so.

    EDIT: According to some comments in an article, might not be accurate.

    I'm testing this now, will update after I find out.

    So far, 100% of all the words in my bullet points are indexed. 60% of key terms (I have 800 character total, Some redundant)

    Product description does not get indexed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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  8. Vigilante
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    Vigilante Legendary Contributor Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Yes
     
  9. Denim Chicken
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    Denim Chicken Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Confirmed. 250 limit
     
  10. Vigilante
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    Vigilante Legendary Contributor Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Amazon for some reason has always chosen to keep monumental changes like this close to the vest. Makes no sense to me. Rather than communicate with their 3P sellers who now account for over 40% of the revenue, news like this relies on leaks but then later get substantiated or authenticated by Amazon.

    This isn't even the most current big deal affecting sellers. The latest news about their return handling changes are causing a major uproar amongst Amazon sellers. That one at least they announced.
     
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  11. Denim Chicken
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    Denim Chicken Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I went from 850 characters and 5 lines of key words to cutting down to 250 to my most important and I am 100% indexed.
     
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  12. JAJT
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    JAJT Ha Ha! Business Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I didn't catch this mistake at first in your post or I would have corrected it earlier - it's characters. Not words.

    240 characters is about 40 words, give or take.

    I personally use WordCounter - Count Words & Correct Writing for the vast majority of my copywriting that requires character / word limit considerations, keyword density, etc...

    Actually while I'm giving out character tools, here's another two I used to use a ton:

    Removing duplicate words and/or sorting: http://www.tracemyip.org/tools/remove-duplicate-words-in-text/

    Add/remove line breaks: Add/Remove Line Breaks – Text Mechanic™

    It's amazing how much use I've gotten out of these three tools. Especially the last two. When you get an excel file out of google keyword planner and open it in excel you need to basically be an excel pro to do anything with that data. Those last two tools make it dead easy. The first strips out all the duplicates and the second gives you an output you can work with (like every word on it's own line to make editing easy and then putting every word onto one line for input back into a single line, like on amazon).

    This makes a lot less sense with 250 characters but back when it was 5000 it was almost necessary. Still useful for other purposes as well.
     
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    johnp Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for this, I'm sure it will mean something to me once I understand it more. I guess I'm a little confused.

    I'm new to Amazon. I listed my product awhile go and now I'm getting consistent sales each day.

    I was just adding my top 5 keywords to each field, like:

    1. Keyword 1
    2. Keyword 2
    3. Keyword 3
    4. Keyword 4
    5. Keyword 5

    But based on this thread, I feel like I'm doing something wrong here.

    Can I enter?

    1. Keyword 1, 2, 3 (up to 250 characters per field)
    2. Keyword 4,5 (up to 250 characters per field)
    3. More keywords (up to 250 characters per field)
    4. More keywords (up to 250 characters per field)
    5. More keywords (up to 250 characters per field)

    And is that what this applies to?
     
  14. JAJT
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    Correct.

    Those 5 search keyword fields SAY 1,000 characters but all the news (and Amazon, after the fact, jackasses) say 250 characters.

    So yes, you can and should do something like this, if your product was a couch:

    Line 1: sofa comfy comfortable long microfiber
    Line 2: Red black stripes pattern firm suade chesterfield
    Line 3/4/5: etc... up to 250 characters total across all 5 lines.

    Do not repeat words in your product title as that's a waste and offers no benefit. Those words in your title are already considered search terms.
     
  15. Denim Chicken
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    Denim Chicken Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Actually it's 250 characters total, not per line. So you can put all your keywords in the first line and leave everything else blank like I did.

    I had 850 TOTAL characters, about 200 characters per the 5 lines, and only indexed for about 60%. Now I have 250 character, about 36 words total on Line 1. 100% Indexed.

    Also the bullet points get 100% indexed and you get 100 character each so if you can use some keywords in there as part of your description that doesn't sound weird or wordy, you can move them around.
     
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  17. Jamie T
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    Thanks for the info,

    I just cleaned up my listings. I think the most I had was ~500 keywords total in one of the listings. My issue was mostly duplicate keywords and different word variations.

    I didn't notice any changes in the keywords that I want to rank for (this is a good thing).

    I prefer this 250 keyword situation more than the 5000 jam as much as you can in there. It makes more sense to have cleaner search terms/keywords.

    Does this only apply to the search terms/platinum keywords? Or is it 250 total for all the possible keyword options? Like... "subject matter" and "other attributes" etc.

    Thanks, this helped a lot.
     
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  18. exclusives88
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    Let's say I am selling garlic press

    In my backend keyword's, do I need to put

    small garlic press large garlic press shiny garlic press

    OR

    can I just put

    small large shiny

    I've always been repeating my keywords in different order.
     
  19. Denim Chicken
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    Denim Chicken Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    No repeat itll figure it out
     
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  20. JAJT
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    Not only should you not repeat keywords but you also shouldn't use any keywords in your title.

    So if you have a title that says "Shiny garlic press, great for both small or large pieces" then your back-end keywords should not have any of those title words in it. Instead you can use keywords like "mince chop fine paste food recipe" etc...

    (or whatever, point is don't repeat keywords anywhere)
     
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  21. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    If you want to know what's good, or isn't good as keywords, quit the rumors, just read from the source.

    Amazon.com Help: Optimize Listings for Search and Browse

    A lot of the things people misunderstand or worry about when it comes to Amazon, Amazon has already clearly answered.

    (And sometimes they haven't... like what @Vigilante posted in the OP)


    Don't include keywords that:

    • Don't include product identifiers such as brand names, product names, compatible product names, ASINs, UPC codes, etc.
    • Don't provide inaccurate, misleading, or irrelevant information such as the wrong product category, the wrong gender, out-of-context words, etc.
    • Don't provide excessively long content. Respect the limits that are set for different fields.
    • When entering several words as a search term, put them in the most logical order. A customer is more likely to search for big stuffed teddy bears than for teddy stuffed bears.
    • Use a single space to separate keywords. No commas, semicolons, carets are required.
    • Don’t include statements that are only temporarily true, e.g., “new,” “on sale,” “available now.”
    • Don’t include subjective claims such as amazing, good quality. etc., as most customers don’t use subjective terms in their queries.
    • Don’t include common misspellings of the product name. Amazon's search engine compensates for common customer misspellings and also offers corrective suggestions.
    • Don’t provide variants of spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization (“80GB” and “80 GB,” “computer” and “computers,” etc.). Our search engine automatically includes different case forms, word forms, and spelling variants for searching.
    • Don’t include terms that are abusive or offensive in nature.
    • Abbreviations, alternate names, topic (for books, etc.), and key character (for books, movies, etc.) could be included as keywords.

    Note: Amazon reserves the right to not use all supplied keywords for retrieving products. Reasons for not using all keywords may include, but are not limited to, search computational efficiency, potential manipulation of search results, irrelevant search terms, and offensive or illegal terms.
     
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  22. AllenCrawley
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    AllenCrawley Legendary Contributor Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    It only took a month for amazon to make a formal announcement. :inpain:
     
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