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How does Instagram’s search algorithm work, how is it optimized?

Instagram has published a comprehensive ‘How Does Instagram Work?’ guide on how search algorithms work and how it can increase users’ chances of appearing in relevant search results.

The guide touched on how Instagram’s post ranking works, sharing information on how the platform works to match different content to users’ interests, and how creators can get their posts to the right audience faster. Of course, it is not possible to succeed only by following these instructions. As with any medium, Intagram requires users to follow a strategic path that is compatible with all systems in order to have a more effective profile.

As for the search, first of all we can say that the principle of operation here is quite simple. Instagram uses the keywords you enter in the search field and makes the appropriate matches to bring up the most relevant content. Of course, that’s the superficial part. In fact, there are different dynamics in the background… Instagram looks at three basic things, while providing matchups related to a search. The first is the text you entered. Instagram says this is by far the most important element for searches. “We try to match your writing with relevant usernames, biographies, titles, hashtags and places,” the guide notes. The second key factor is your effectiveness in the app. In addition to basic text matching, Instagram sorts your search results based on your past in-app activities, including the accounts you follow, posts you view, and how you interact with specific people. The system brings you profiles and hashtags that you’ve followed and visited in the past more often than you’ve ever interacted with before. This gives you the benefit of the benefit of helping you find things you’ll be more interested in and making your exploration process easier. In third place is the popularity of searches. Instagram also takes into account the popularity of matches for your query when sorting the results you view. Factors that can affect this include the number of clicks, likes, shares, and follows that a particular account, hashtag, or place sees. Therefore, your previous activity plays a role as another element to consider in maximizing discovery. Building your presence and maintaining regular activity over time can help you increase your discovery potential in the app and make your profile appear across a wider range of queries. Let’s also note that all accounts, posts, or hashtags that violate recommendation guidelines will rank lower in search results.

Accounts that spammy or violate guidelines rank lower in search results. This is made possible by a comprehensive filtration system. In addition, by balancing the search for sensitive topics with additional security measures, potentially harmful content is limited and users are much less likely to discover it. We recently came across a good example of this. While we’ve seen Instagram lower ranking profiles that post COVID-19 conspiracy theories, we’ve also seen from time to time that the platform reduces the search presence of content related to political issues or conflicts.

There are also some parameters to consider in the guide as to why some brands appear at the bottom of search matches. Content that promotes or depicts cosmetic procedures, including exaggerated health claims such as “Miracle treatments,” content that attempts to sell a product that will help a person lose weight with health-related claims, content that promotes misleading or deceptive business models such as advance loans or “risk-free” investments, content that may be obscene or obscene in transparent clothing, tobacco or electronic cigarette products, adult products, products intended for adults, without adding material value non-original content redesigned from the source, content promoting a contest or draw, is put directly behind Instagram and the match rate is reduced in search results.

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