Amazon Search Terms Domination (Generic Keywords Attribute)

BOOM baby! Who’s ready for some more #ZonLifeZingers!? 😉

Amazon has yet again made another change. Any ideas to what this change is and what it means to Amazon sellers?

Fear not friend, your main man KJ has you covered!

I have one question for you.. Are you ready to rock with the adjustments of your current Amazon listings?

If you have answered “No!”, then you could be risking your livelihood of passive income from selling on Amazon. Seriously.

Previously, Amazon allowed you 5,000 characters (yep, 5,000) in the Generic Keywords Attribute (also referred to as Search Terms or Amazon’s back end keywords fields).

This basically meant you could use EVERY keyword you could possibly find related to your product, niche, and market, and stick them in the Generic Keywords Attribute and start gaining insane amounts of highly targeted traffic (the good lord knows I gained a more than substantial amount of traffic to my Amazon listing from this!).

In case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about above, here is a screenshot that shows where you can put the search terms in the back end of Amazon for your listing *insert smiley face here*.

Amazon Search Terms

PLEASE NOTE: Click the add more link underneath the 1st row. You can have up to fiver rows there and you DO NOT want to forget to use them all.

The search terms you put in tell Amazon that your listing is relevant for certain keywords. Not only does Amazon look at the Product Title, About the Product (bullets points, also known as key features), and the Product Description to see what a listing is relevant for.. Amazon also uses the search terms in the Generic Keywords Attribute to signal there algorithmic wizards what the listing is relevant for (i.e; your product!).

Amazon Search Terms


So, let’s say you are selling “Diaper bags”. Using Amazon’s search bar, you could (and should) realize that someone searching for diaper bags would also be searching for terms like “diaper bags for girls”, “diaper bags for boys”, “diaper bags backpack”, etc..

Amazon Search Terms

Since you are selling unisex diaper bags (you are, aren’t you?), you are going to want to use these “search terms” in your listing in the Product Title, About the product (bullet points), and Product Description.

Ya following? 😉

However, let’s say you are unable to fit all the search terms you want to use (sometimes they just don’t sound right in your copy), you’ll want to use these back end search fields to add the remaining keywords since they are relevant for your product.

So, back to square one. We used to be able to add 5,000 characters into each one of these 5 search term fields in the Generic Keywords Attribute. However, Amazon recently changed it so that in the U.S on, and in the UK on, you are only allowed 250 characters.


In fact, every marketplace except India, Japan, and China are allowed no more than 250 characters per Generic Keywords Attribute field. India is only allowed 200 characters. Japan is allowed 500 characters, and there is no limit for China.

Why would Amazon make this search terms character count change?

It’s simple, people spammed the heck out of the 5000 character fields so they were showing for a bunch of non-relevant searches. Amazon’s customers obviously weren’t happy that they were seeing things they probably didn’t want. So, Amazon cracked down and made the change so that a product listing will be more relevant for the searches it can show for. Solid decision Amazon!

What Does Amazon Consider to Equal One Character For Their Search Term Fields?

  • 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.

Amazon Search Term Comma, To Use or Not To Use?

You do not need to put commas in the search term fields for your Amazon product listing. Spaces and punctuation like commas do not count towards your character limit if you do need to use them.

Amazon also gives us some guidelines on what they think you should put in the back end search term fields. They call it “Optimizing keyword content for search discoverability”.

What Should I Put For My Search Terms in the Generic Keyword Attribute? How Do I Use Amazon Keywords Properly?

  • 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).

Let’s talk about these, shall we? 🙂

First off, do not put non descriptive keywords in for your product. While this may seem like a no-brainer, I see this happen wayyy too often. Trust in KJ (yep, that’s me :)). Do not include brand names either, this can get you into trouble and is against Amazon’s TOS. Also, do not duplicate content you already have. Most expert Amazon sellers agree that duplicating your keywords is meaningless on the Amazon platform, so if you already have “diaper bags” in your product title, there’s no reason to put it in with the generic keywords attribute in the back-end. Your welcome.

Now, Amazon suggest we use synonyms and misspellings. Personally, I have been using synonyms and misspellings for quite a long time and have noticed an increase in traffic and sales when I add them in. Heck, I’ve even written blog posts for my ecommerce sites where I use misspellings and it ALWAYS works great for SEO in google. So why not on Amazon too?

Where Do I Find the Best Search Terms for My Amazon Listing?

There are several tools out there you can use to find good keywords, some are free and some are not (cry me a river!).

Free Amazon Keyword Search Tools for Amazon Search Terms Optimization

  • The Amazon Search Bar. Use Amazon’s search bar to find suggested searches for your product and niche. Once again, if Amazon is suggesting them, it’s likely they will be relevant for your product and get you traffic and sales. If I was selling shirts, I would type the keyword “shirt” into Amazon’s search bar and see what pops up. Then, I would use the keywords like “shirts for men” if I was selling men’s tees > Shirts Amazon Suggested Search.


  • The Google Search Bar. Where else do people search a shitload? Google baby! So do the same thing you did with Amazon in Google. You’ll see there are some different searches. Pick the ones you think will do the best and go from there.


  • Sonar Keyword Tool. There is a free version of this tool that will work just fine. Enter your search term in and Bam, you get a whole new set of keywords. Once again, you will want to look for keywords that are most relevant for your product and niche. Look for ones that will bring you sales.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you start with a generic keyword the vast majority of these WILL have decent search volume. If you worry too much about search volume you may miss out on a really good keyword. I’ve ranked for highly trafficked, broad keywords. I’ve also ranked for specific, buyer keywords with half as much traffic. I’ll take the keywords with half as much traffic any day of the week if they are buyer keywords, because ultimately they will result in more sales *insert cruel face here*.

For example, a broad, high volume generic keywords would be “razors”. Ranking for this keyword would be great, because it has lots of traffic. However, if you sold women’s razors, it would be better to rank for a keyword like “razors for women” or “women razor” as these are much more targeted and likely to result in a buyer for YOUR product. Plus, the more targeted your traffic the higher your conversion rate will be, and Amazon loves a high conversion rate! 🙂

This really is specific to the product type and market. I always want keywords with the highest traffic possible, but I’ll take a keyword with less traffic IF (and only IF) it results in more sales..

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for the recent Amazon Search Terms Character Change (Generic Keywords Attribute Change)

How Many Characters Can I Use in the Generic Keywords Attribute? In all marketplaces except China, India, and Japan, you can use up to 250 characters. Amazon India gets 200 characters, and Amazon Japan gets 500 characters.

Can I Use Competitor Brand Terms in My Back End Search Fields? Amazon doesn’t want you to do it, and suggests against it, so we do not recommend you do it right now. Are you feeling rogue and want to get for it? Do so at your own risk.

Do Amazon Backend Keywords Work? Yes, they absolutely do work for your listings. Make sure to be thorough, take your time and find the correct keywords and you will get results.

Are Individual Keywords or Phrases Better? Amazon clearly states that repeating search terms is redundant and not beneficial. However, they also state its better to show the search term as the customer would. I would recommend making sure to get all the different keywords in first. Then, if you have room for phrases go ahead and toss them in.

My Listing Is Still Indexed for More Than 250 Characters, Is that Okay? Yes, you will likely be fine but you may want to go in to your back end and clean it up to a total of 250. I cannot imagine you getting into trouble for “forgetting” to edit the fields but it may not be a bad idea to do. Following the TOS is always a good idea, but if your listing is rocking you may want to ride your luck and let it ride.

What are the Best Tools for Finding Amazon Keywords? There are many, many tools you can use to find keywords or search terms for Amazon. The 3 free ones we recommend are the Amazon Search bar, the Google Search Bar, and Sellics Sonar Tool.

Do Special Characters Count as More Than 1 Character in the Generic Keywords Attribute Field? Yes, special characters do count as more than 1 character. The United Kingdom pound sign “£” counts as 2 characters. Other special characters like a heart “❤” count as 3 bytes or characters.

Should I Use My Keywords More Than Once in the Search Term Fields? No, you do not need to use keywords more than once. Amazon states that it has no extra benefit and we haven’t a noticeable difference as well.

Should I Use Synonyms and Misspellings in the Generic Keywords Attribute Field? Yes, you will absolutely want to use synonyms and misspellings. If you are selling a fluorescent bulb, you would want to add the common misspelling “florescent”, and also the common synonym “light”.

Why Did Amazon Limit the Number of Characters From 5000 to 250 in the Generic Keywords Attribute? Is it Because They Hate Me? Of course they don’t hate you lol. It’s because too many people were using keywords in the Generic Keywords Attribute that were not relevant! With a total of 5000 characters, we could basically toss anything we wanted in there. Now, with only 250 characters, we have to be very specific to our product. This means Amazon’s customers will receive more relevant searches. If Amazon’s customers get more relevant products, its likely they will be happier AND buy more things.

What is the Generic Keywords Attribute? The Generic Keywords Attribute is the place in the back end of Amazon that allows you to put keywords or search terms in for your product or amazon listing. When used correctly, the Generic Keyword Attribute helps Amazon’s search algorithm show your product for relevant searches. When your product is shown for relevant searches it results in an increase in traffic and sales.


Another blog written on the Amazon FBA business model. Boy do I love talking about all things Amazon! Like you didn’t already know that.. 😉

In all seriousness, thank you. I would never be the motivated blogger if it wasn’t for all of you. My goal is to inspire and educate a generation of people who are sick of their 9-5 jobs and are looking to do something different. Something fun. Something that allows them more time in their lives. Added fulfilment. Bigger smiles. Longer laughs. And of course, more time and financial freedom in their lives.

Sound familiar? Don’t waste another second. Time is way too precious and it moves faster than the speed of light as it seems. Take action and learn as much as you can about what you are looking to do with your life. Selling on Amazon FBA might be the perfect route for you to take, maybe not. But what ever it is, go full throttle on it. Take risks and never look back. Regret nothing and embrace everything.

And remember, when life gives you lemons, just say F%$! the lemons and bail. Then move forward onto product research for making money selling on Amazon! 😉

Any who, thanks so much once again for stopping by the blog post and reading through. More coming soon champ!

Question; Why did you start selling on Amazon? I have always wanted to hear peoples stories on this. Comment below! 🙂

Kevin James is an highly enthusiastic and extremely successful Amazon selling nut.

His hobbies include drinking bucket loads of black coffees, training biceps in the gym and spending quality time with his loved ones on more than adventurous hikes!


I teach people how to grow their Amazon FBA private label business and supercharge their online income.


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