This article applies to selling in: Australia

Using Search Terms effectively

In order for customers to find your products on Amazon, it is important to provide search terms that they might use when searching for what they want to buy.

Amazon limits the length of search terms attribute to less than 250 bytes. Search terms limit applies to newly-registered as well as existing ASINs.

Tips for optimising your search terms:

  • Stay under length limit.
  • Include synonyms.
  • Include spelling variations, no need for misspellings.
  • Include abbreviations and alternative names.
  • You can use all lower case.
  • You do not need punctuation, such as: ";", ":", "-".
  • Separate words with spaces.
  • Do not repeat words within the Search Terms field.
  • Do not include your brand or other brand names in search terms.
  • Do not include ASINs in search terms.
  • Do not use stop words, such as a, an, and, by, for, of, the, with.
  • Use either singular or plural, no need for both.
  • Do not use temporary statements, such as new or on sale now.
  • Do not use subjective claims, such as best, cheapest, and amazing
  • Do not add abusive or offensive terms.


Good Search Terms

cutting chopping board butcher block bamboo wood wooden large hybrid polypropylene food grade plastic non slip kitchen dual sided surface anti microbial natural bpa free stain scar resistant eco friendly drip groove

Superfluous Words

We advise that you do not include the following types of words in your search terms:

Category Words to avoid
Stop Words: a, also, an, and, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, but, by, for, from, in, into, is, of, on, or, so, some, such, the, was, were, with
Temporary Words: available now, brand new, current, discounted, just launched, last chance, last minute, latest, limited time, new, on sale, this week (month, year and so on.), today
Subjective Words: amazing, best, cheap, cheapest, effective, fastest, good deal, least, most, popular, trending

To add Search Terms:

  1. On the Inventory tab, click Manage Inventory.
  2. Click Edit. This is located on the right side of each product listed.
  3. On the page that opens, click the Keywords tab and enter your keywords in the Search Terms box.

Learn more on how to optimise listings for search.

Note: Amazon reserves the right to not use all supplied keywords for retrieving products. Reasons for not using all keywords can include, but are not limited to, search computational efficiency, potential manipulation of search results, irrelevant search terms, and offensive or illegal terms.


1. What is the difference between bytes and characters?

The Search Terms field in Seller Central has a built-in byte counter which stops accepting input at the length limit that is quoted in bytes and not characters as some search terms contain multi-byte characters.

Bytes correspond to 1:1 for alphanumeric characters (for example a–z, A–Z, 0–9). The length becomes variable when dealing with more complex characters such as umlauts in German (for example ä), which can be two bytes per character. Other complex characters, such as Japanese and Chinese characters can be three or four bytes. There are cases where search terms can contain a mixture of single and multi-byte characters, which make the prediction of character count complex.

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 can be used, but is not mandatory.

3. Why is there only one Search Terms field?

The Search Terms field was reduced from five fields to one field to improve the quality of Amazon Search results. Previously, it was possible to add up to 5,000 bytes worth of search terms but it generated a lot of spam (irrelevant search terms).The reduced quota of search terms helps sellers focus on only using relevant words to describe specific products.

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

To facilitate this change, the content of all Search Terms fields was combined into the first field. Sellers were asked to click Save and Finish, in order to overwrite the content and be within the length limit. Sellers were allowed to edit the content before clicking Save. Once saved, any excess was gone.

5. What happens if I leave my search terms over the limit?

If search terms are over the limit, none of the search terms for that ASIN will be indexed by Amazon Search. Being indexed means that your ASIN is eligible (but not guaranteed) to appear in search results for matching search terms.

6. How do I update 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 Seller Support to enable that option in your account. Once you have downloaded your current listings, you can use an Inventory file template to perform bulk upload changes using the partial update function.

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

Amazon determines the relevancy of search terms using a machine learning model. The terms that we deem relevant may change over time as Amazon's machine-learning model continuously gathers data. This is an automated process and Amazon reserves the right not to use all supplied keywords for retrieving products.

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