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Instagram Update: Search For Posts By Using Keywords

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

As a content creator, one of my jobs is to stay up to date with all things social and I wanted to tell you that Instagram FINALLY has a keyword search feature.

If you are a blogger or YouTuber or active on Pinterest you know what this is.

This is HUGE for Instagram and its users so we can use Instagram as a search engine like google.

This means your posts can be discovered in searches without relying on hashtags, usernames, or name field in your bio.

Watch my Tik Tok video to see what it looks like.

In the past, if you were to search “drugstore skincare” you would only be shown posts that used: #drugstoreskincare or had “Drugstore Skincare” in their username/name field in their bio.

With the new keyword search, the algorithm will find content that matches a search based on its:

•Type of content


•Caption Keywords


•Post Recency

Instagram has currently announced this feature for the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland as well as two other unnamed countries.

But even if the search isn’t in your country, you can still be discovered by it.

So here is what you need to know:

How can you start optimizing your content for the new search?

✅ Include keywords in your caption

✅ Continue to use hashtags

✅ Post about relevant and searchable topics

✅ Put subtitles in all your video content

✅ Use Alt text to describe your images

Fun fact:

Did you know that google search results return 23.6% of search results as images? A large portion of those images are from social media websites.

Instagram uses object recognition technology to write the Alt text if you do not provide it, which I think is super cool. But think of all the extra keywords you could inject into SEO if you write all the Alt text yourself.🤯

A big tip I can give you when writing Alt text is working out your most successful hashtags or keywords perhaps a follower/client would use to search for you and make sure you use those words in your text. Just keep in mind the text should reflect the image and content too.

In regards to adding captions to your videos helping with SEO, I’m not 100% sure how it works, but we do know that when IG created alt text they use object recognition technology, so it’s likely that it has the same capability for scanning subtitles in videos.

The search is limited to general interest topics and keywords that are within Instagram’s community guidelines,” Instagram said.

If this takes off, Instagram could be the third place to search for content behind Google and YouTube.

I know people hate the new shopping aspect on Instagram, but it’s huge for small businesses in my opinion and guides are bringing in richer content, we shall see how keyword search goes. I think it will help tremendously with user experience.

What are your thoughts on this?

What do you think about this feature?

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Yes Madisen, start doing it. I always write Alt text ever since I found out about the feature. It second nature and it’s apart of my checklist before I post anything now lol We shall see how IG keywords goes. I hope it’s a hit.


Madisen English
Madisen English

I’m excited for this new feature! It reminds me so much of Pinterest and I’m glad I learned about SEO + how to use keywords in my descriptions beforehand. I haven’t thought about adding Alt text to my content, but I do that for my blog posts! I may have to start and see if I notice a difference.

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