Are You Getting the Most out of Instagram Search?

Blogs | Social Media

Published: 13.12.22
Written By: Jess Foster

Table of Contents


Instagram search is undeniably the best new way to grow your Instagram account organically super-fast!

By utilising Instagram search tools alongside reels you will see massive growth.

How Does Instagram Search Work?

In the past, you could only ever search on Instagram for usernames or hashtags. But now Instagram has built the capabilities to search for keywords…making the platform almost like Google or YouTube.

The amazing benefit that this has uncovered is the ability to search directly for specific content.

This is arguably the biggest step forward for content creators who post within Instagram.

Top Instagram Search Features

Nearby Location
Search Instagram by location! This Instagram search tool is useful when you are looking to explore pictures from a specific location. For example, holiday destinations or nearby restaurants! Complete your image search effectively by following these steps!

To begin your search:

  • Tap the search icon to begin your location search
  • Type the name of location you are searching for.
  • Five tabs will appear at the top of the page: Top, Accounts, Audio, Tags and Places.
  • Select Places and a list will appear of all the relevant areas posts geotagged in that location.

Top Tip:
When you upload to Instagram if you include the location – it has a chance to appear when people use the search bar for that specific place or area.

Searching Without An Account
This Instagram search tool is useful if you have not yet signed up for Instagram. You can search for any profile using a search engine like Google. To optimise your account for this search tool make sure your account is set to Public.

To begin your search:

  • Open a web browser such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox or Safari.
  • Search the name of the Instagram profile with a @ before it.
  • Click the link or the images tab to view photos.

How Does Instagram Rank The Search Results?

The search tool was built to find accounts, content, and topics of interest for the searcher.

To show you exactly what you are looking for Instagram will show you search results by what’s most relevant to you.

However, when you search for a keyword, the keyword is not the only thing that Instagram considers.

They also use information from accounts, hashtags, and places which they call signals to rank your search results.

The most important signals are:
1. Your text in search: the text you enter in the Instagram search bar is the most important signal for search. Instagram will match your search to content, usernames, bios, captions, hashtags, and places.

2. Your activity: this includes accounts you follow; posts you’ve viewed and how you have interacted with accounts in the past. Instagram will usually show accounts and hashtags you follow higher up the search results.

3. Information about the search results: When there are a lot of potential results, Instagram also looks at popularity signals. These include the number of clicks, likes, shares, and follows for a particular piece of content, account, hashtag, or place.

2023 Instagram Algorithm Solved

For your feed the Instagram algorithm sorts through the content of accounts you follow and predicts how likely you are to interact with a post based on the following criteria:

Information about the post. How many likes did it get? Was it tagged with a location? How many comments did it get? When was it posted? What time? If it is a video, how long is it? These signal to Instagram the relevance and popularity of a post.

Information about the account/person who posted the content and your history of interations with them. Tracking metrics such as likes, comments and profile views. Instagram determines how interesting a person may be to you by the content that they post.

Your activity on the platform. The quantity and content of posts you have interacted with on Instagram will indicate what kind of other posts you might be interested in seeing.

Changes And Updates

Instagram will emphasize showing users something new
One of the top goals for Instagram is to “help people discover things that they love” – CEO Mosseri. It is not just about likes and comments, Instagram should be a place where you discover amazing things every time you use it.

Instagram will promote content that inspires and starts conversations
We can expect comments will be very important for post’s success.

Organic content will rank higher than reposted or reshared content
Mosseri also stated: “If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something you found from someone else. We are going to do more to try and value original content more, copared to reposted content”.

How To Use Instagram To Your Advantage

So, now the part you have been waiting for…how can you use this to make your Instagram account grow?

Instagram released an article that explained how search works but also how they will help you show up within them.

They explained that the best practices for helping you show up were these 3 things:

1. Use a fitting handle and profile name. Search results are matched by text. Using an Instagram handle or profile name that’s related to the content of your posts is your best bet for showing up in relevant searches. If your friends or fans know you by a certain name, include that name in your username or profile so that you can show up when they search for you.

2. Include relevant keywords and locations in your bio. Same principle here. Make sure your bio includes keywords about who you are and what your profile is about. If your account is location-specific, like for a small business, sharing your location in your bio can make it easier for people in your area to find you.

3. Use relevant keywords and hashtags in captions. For a post to be found in Search, put keywords and hashtags in the caption, not the comments.


We would like to add one additional tip to this list and that is to add alt text to your posts. This will help your content show up when people search looking for that specific type of content.

Overall, Instagram search is undeniably the future for Instagram growth tactics.

So, start optimising your profile now and you will start seeing some great results.

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