Instagram boss Adam Mosseri explained how the app ranks search results and shared some of Instagram’s best SEO practices.
Mosseri has previously shared how Instagram algorithm displays detailed information about content in main sections, stories, scrolls, and explorations.
Instagram ranks search results differently because it relies on users to enter text to get results.
For example, the “Explore” tab is automatically filled with content. Instagram aims to organize search results based on content that is most relevant to individual users.
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Instagram Search Ranking Signals 2021
In addition to the text entered by the user, the Instagram search algorithm also uses information from accounts, hashtags, and locations to categorize the results.
Instagram’s main ranking signals 2021, in order of importance, are:
1. Your text
The text you enter in the search bar is the most important ranking signal on Instagram.
It will first try to match the text with relevant usernames, bios, titles, hashtags, and locations.
2. Your activity
This includes the accounts you follow, the posts you have viewed, and how you have interacted with those accounts in the past.
Instagram usually shows that the accounts and hashtags you follow or visit are higher than the accounts and hashtags you don’t follow.
3. User engagement
When there are many potential results, Instagram will pay attention to signs of participation.
This includes the number of clicks, likes, shares, and followings for specific accounts, hashtags, or locations.
Instagram SEO Best Practices 2021
1. Choose a relevant username and profile name
Since text is the most important ranking signal, you should try to choose an Instagram identifier or profile name that is relevant to your content.
This is the best choice that appears in related searches.
If your audience knows you by a specific name, include that name in your username or profile so that they will show it when they search for you.
2. Include relevant keywords and locations in your bio
The text of your resume is also important, so please include relevant keywords and placements.
Make sure your profile contains text about who you are and the content of your page.
If your account is for a specific location, such as a small business, sharing your location in your profile can make it easier for people to find you.
3. Use relevant keywords and hashtags in captions
Add keywords and hashtags in the caption, not the comments for a post to be found in Search.
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Instagram Search Penalties 2021
Just as Google has search penalties, violating Instagram’s recommendation guidelines may cause your content to be downgraded in search results.
Instagram can punish individual posts, entire accounts, or entire hashtags.
When explaining the implementation of sanctions, Mosseri mentioned the shadow ban, instead of directly using the term “shadow ban.”
A shadow-banned Instagram account is similar to starting and running a website when it is de-indexed on Google.
The only way to view content is to access it directly.
Instagram has a separate community guide, which is different from the recommended guide.
If violated, the account will be completely deleted from the website.
Upcoming Important Improvements to Instagram Search
Instagram will soon release a series of search results enhancements, allowing users not only to find accounts and hashtags, but also to find more content.
Mosseri said the company is working hard to create a “complete search results page experience” so that people can easily tap their interests.
Instagram also plans to expand the keywords that users can search for and allow further exploration of topics. Currently, an Instagram search for “space” will return accounts and hashtags that contain the word “space”.
Soon, in addition to account and hashtags, the same search will be able to return photos and videos in the space.