Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid

In my YouTube videos about Amazon Keyword Optimization, I shared how to find and optimize Amazon Kindle Keywords for your ebooks.

However, I failed to mention how Amazon has specific keywords to avoid and general guidelines you should use when filling out the 7 keyword metadata slots for your books.

Today, I’m going to share the top 6 keywords to avoid; a banned keywords list. With this list, you’ll have no delays or unnecessary strikes in your publishing process.

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Check out my full playlist on Amazon Kindle Keywords at this link to get up to speed on things.

how to increase books sales with keywords

According to the Kindle Direct Publishing page on how to Make Your Book More Discoverable with Keywords, there are several best practices, useful keyword types, and metadata tips to optimize your book listing. In addition to that, KDP has specific keywords you should avoid and some fairly ambiguous guidelines you should stick to.

From my experience, here is my list of the top 6 banned Amazon Kindle Keywords.

#1 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid


Yes, the online retailer doesn’t like you using their name in vain. Certainly, the word is called for if you have a book specific to the subject of Amazon, but be prepared to explain yourself and jump through a few hoops to keep that keyword.

#2 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid


This is much like using “Amazon” as a keyword. Even though you may have your book on Kindle, they feel using their product name leads to “inaccurate or overwhelming search results.”

#3 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid


Much like the last 2 banned keywords, Amazon simply doesn’t want you using their brand names in your metadata.

how to find amazon kindle keywords

#4 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid


Even you’ve had a best seller for 1 year or 1 hour in any category on Amazon…

You can not use best seller and they will put your book to draft if you dare try using it. In fact, subjective claims such as “best novel ever” are strongly discouraged in your keyword metadata.

#5 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid

Other author or brand names

You may share the same niche as Stephen King or have a book just like the For Dummies branded books.

You can’t use their names to leverage more eyes on your product.

Using any trademarked names in your book is a dangerous business model anyways.

Avoid them like the plague or face the consequences.

Amazon Kindle Keywords

Honorable Mentions: Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid

Here are a few honorable mentions that aren’t necessarily banned kindle keywords but strong recommendations made by Amazon:

  • Book – or any other information common to items in the category.
  • Time-sensitive statements such as new, on sale or available now.
  • Misspelled words – hey, they aren’t banning misspelled words so much as they are wanting everyone to make money. So, why fill your limited keyword slots poor spelling? Run your keywords through a spell checker to make sure everything is on the up and up. There are a few exceptions to this rule.
  • Quotation marks – using quotes around your keyword means you want exactly that keyword and no variation of it.

#6 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid


The four-letter F word is a big no-no and they even question using the word even if you have a zero-cost book listing.

1 amazon kindle publishing keywords

Final Thoughts on Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid

Using these banned keywords within your book description or title is a gray area, so proceed with caution. Only use keywords actually relevant to your content, so you keep your KDP account on the straight and narrow.

I’d love to hear from you and your experience in banned keywords. What are some keywords Amazon has stopped you for? Leave your comments down below!

Now, get out there and avoid those banned Amazon Kindle Keywords, you savvy self-publisher you. Till later, this has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll see you guys soon.