Steer Clear: 6 Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid for Maximum Book Visibility

There’s a lot of information out there on Amazon keywords, but we don’t often talk about best practices and theamazon kindle keywords types of keywords you should avoid.

Not too long ago, I created a comprehensive post here on my blog about keywords. Today, I’m going to talk about the types of words you want to avoid during the publishing process.

So, go read that article first because in this one, I’m going to assume you already have the knowledge included in that one like:

  • Tools for free keyword research like DS Amazon Quick View
  • Using incognito mode and why
  • Using all 50 characters in each keyword slot

There’s more, but these are the basics.

By avoiding keywords you shouldn’t use, you will cut down the odds of experiencing delays in your publishing due to unnecessary problems during the review process.

Amazon provides a very concise page on how to Make Your Books More Discoverable with Keywords.

This page is a nice bookmark-worthy overview of Amazon keywords in their own words.

There’s no reason for me to reinvent the wheel here.

Upon visiting that page, they present you with:

  • How to add and update your keywords
  • Best practices
  • Keyword types you may not have thought of using
  • Keywords to avoid

I’d like to focus on that last one in this post.

Amazon Kindle Keywords to Avoid

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

1. Amazon

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. Kindle

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. KDP Select or Kindle Unlimited

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

4. Best Seller

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

You cannot 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. Other author’s 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 anyway.

Avoid them like the plague or face the consequences.

6. Free

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

Honorable Mentions

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 with 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

Final Thoughts

Using these banned keywords within your book description or title is a gray area, so proceed with caution. In fact, I would say just don’t do it. If you’re that hard up for keywords, maybe you need to rethink your book.

Only use keywords actually relevant to your content, so you keep your KDP account on the straight and narrow. If you’re ever in doubt, just don’t.

Do you have more keywords I didn’t mention? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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