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Author Topic: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords  (Read 102662 times)  

Offline hardnutt

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #125 on: January 04, 2015, 03:33:15 AM »
Someone,

And thank you for the free book. I've just downloaded it and will get my eyeballs on it immediately!


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Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #126 on: January 04, 2015, 03:40:58 AM »
But what was your ranking before the change? My theory is that, if you're ranked 200k plus, keyword optimization isn't going to get you any more noticed. Because say you come up in a particular search, you're still the thousandth book on that list. People aren't scrolling that far back. You have to be at the front. You have to have a good rank to begin with.

Umm, no. To repeat the example of the change I made due to this thread: by misspelling Pacific Northwest as Pacific North West a search on Pacific North West Native American has my 800k ranked booked on No.3 on the 1st page. Amazon's search system will offer to correct the search to Pacific Northwest in which case they will not find it at all and if they did I probably would be on the 5th page. I could correct my misspelling or I could bank on getting more notice if someone else misspells Pacific Northwest. Of course I could go back and add northwest to north west and probably will.

TL/DR if your ranking is low there is mileage to be gained from obscure terms or incorrect spelling. So don't be a slave to the Amazon search suggestions if you are low ranked.


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Offline Daniel Cane

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #127 on: January 04, 2015, 03:53:44 AM »
Despite all this talk about maximizing keywords, I still wonder how useful it is. Meaning, do people really shop for books this way? I know I don't (but I'm just one person). I think being in the top 100 of a category is useful, but I have to wonder about search terms. Changing my keywords really had little effect on my sales, but I am small potatoes.

I almost always search by keywords. Usually I will go to the category I want first and then search.

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #128 on: January 04, 2015, 04:00:07 AM »
In fact, any keyword already in your blurb (which gains priority over keywords if I recall correctly) does not need to be repeated.


So, if I add a couple of phrases to the blurb it will work better than making them keyword phrases?

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #129 on: January 04, 2015, 06:28:39 AM »
I just wanted to throw a quick thank you to Evenstar for this post. It's definitely helped me out a lot!

You're very welcome, that was why I did it

Evenstar,

Thank you! As an experiment, I put my free first in series through the keyword test and the downloads increased threefold. Plus the paid downloads of other books increased by half. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the sales graph on KDP.

Will now go through and change the keywords for my other books.

Thanks again. You're a treasure.  ;)

I'm so pleased!! That's what we are all aiming for. Now if I could repeat that level of success on my own books ... lol

Hmm, from my understanding, if you place your book in the fantasy genre, you do NOT need to use the word fantasy in your keywords. In fact, any keyword already in your blurb (which gains priority over keywords if I recall correctly) does not need to be repeated.

Just checked: I do NOT have the word "fantasy" in any of my keywords, however it IS in my blurb.
Hmm, from my understanding, if you place your book in the fantasy genre, you do NOT need to use the word fantasy in your keywords. In fact, any keyword already in your blurb (which gains priority over keywords if I recall correctly) does not need to be repeated.

Just checked: I do NOT have the word "fantasy" in any of my keywords, however it IS in my blurb.

Please do more experimenting with this! My own experience has been that keywords in the blurb don't tend to have much effect (though that is just on Amazon, they make all the difference in the world on Google Play). But I'm not saying you are wrong, you could very well be right, just saying people need to double check if their keywords are being left out of keywords section and still showing up in a search? Mine don't seem to.  OR, Sever, are you focussing more on category listings than search results when you say this?

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #130 on: January 04, 2015, 07:08:03 AM »
This is interesting. My teen book was turned down by a trad publisher who described it as 'too much like a Hardy Boys story'. So I've put in my blurb ''A Hardy Boys style action adventure set in South Africa". I just typed in Hardy Boys style and these came up in the list as a random pages in the books.

The Imago SequenceJul 1, 2007
by Laird Barron
Excerpt
Page 147 : ... I pried a little out of him; more I learned Hardy Boys style ...See a random page in this book.

American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64Feb 26, 2013
by John Wells and Jack Kirby
Excerpt
Page 139 : ... had Bolling work on a straight Hardy Boys-style spin-off comic book. ...See a random page in this book.

The Dark Days of Hamburger HalpinFeb 9, 2010
by Josh Berk
Excerpt
Page 176 : ... car and is into daring hardy boys style adventure? seems like ur ...See a random page in this boo

The Good Years on Goodyear BlvdOct 3, 2014
by Mr Jim Luke
Excerpt
Page 76 : ... lawman his first big clue on how to find this outlaw Hardy Boys style ...See a random page in this book.

There are several more, but you get the idea. Has anyone else tried random phrases from their books to see what would happen?



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Offline busywoman

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #131 on: January 04, 2015, 07:36:37 AM »
I'll out myself
I did the Rock The Keywords "book" after doing tons of research, sharing it, and it helping a lot of authors.
I'll use a Select free day and make it free for you non-Ku'ers. I'll run it free for a day to be helpful but then I'll probably put it back to paid because I only get 5 in 90 days ( see talk about original purpose below )
It talks all about punctuation, repeating words, hyphens, etc.

We ran experiment after experiment using a lot of software like Kindle Samurai and stuff. ( I don't know why but I love the word stuff, LOL )

www.amazon.com/Rock-KDP-Keywords-Marketing-Publishing-ebook/dp/B00R6AYHYC


EDIT - For those without KU I was able to schedule a freebie for the 4th so it will go free at midnight

Thank YOU, Someone!  Everyone should go get this book.  It takes less than 30 minutes to read, but you will have a much better idea of how to input keywords after it.  Combined with Evenstar's original post and some of the points brought up in this thread, it lays out the points with clarity.  It is pure gold.

Essentially, what the book confirmed for me is something I'd experienced as a searcher.  That is, Amazon's search engine when it comes to search terms is very simplistic.  It's not nearly as sophisticated as Google's. 

When I say that, I am referring specifically to searching using the search box.  Amazon's algorithms are more sophisticated than Google's in other ways, such as by giving you suggestions of what others bought and so on. 

But when it comes purely to searching on words in a search box, Amazon has a simple search engine.

For the Amazon search box, think about your keywords as individual words. String together as many relevant (to your book) individual words as possible in the characters allowed in the keyword box.  Because that's pretty much how Amazon's engine treats them -- as individual words.  Don't repeat words in various phrases or combinations.  There's no need to.

Amazon treats everything as individual words (mostly).

Repeat that phrase in your head, over and over, as you input words into the keywords field.

What this book doesn't cover, and what I'd like to see answered is:

1. What determines the order in which books show up for a certain search?   

Some here have suggested that the order in which books appear is based on product ranking.  However, from a half dozen searches I tested out, that doesn't seem to be the case.  I see lower ranking books (sometimes much lower) appearing much higher in search results in every single search I try. 

Now it is possible that Amazon is averaging the rankings for purposes of displaying them. For example, maybe Amazon displays in order of the highest ranking items as determined by their average rank over the past 30 days. Or something like that. If so, it would make it much harder to figure out how to get to page one of Amazon's results. But so far, I can't detect a pattern based on book rankings.

What I can say is that the results don't seem to take relevancy into account. Sometimes I had to dig deep before more relevant results came up in search results. For example, if I searched on a two-word phrase, I might have to dig down into page 5 or 6 to find a result that focused on both words. The earlier results focused on one or the other of the terms, only. 

In other words, let's say I searched on:  blue widgets. Without quotation marks. The first few pages of results might return results for widgets (red, green, etc.). Or they might return results for books that were about blue in some way.  It might not be until page 5 that I found the one book that covered blue widgets. Therefore, the early results were not very relevant to what I wanted to find.

Again, that goes back to Amazon (mostly) handling searches as if they are based on individual words, not phrases.

2. How much weighting is given to the title, subtitle and book description when someone searches via the search box? 

From a quick unscientific review, it seems that the book title/subtitle and description probably do affect searches in some fashion.  I see some books on similar topics, but because the title or subtitle doesn't have the exact phrase I searched for, they don't show up at all or they don't show up until much farther down in the search results.

I see other books that use the precise phrase in their title, description etc. seeming to come up higher.  But without more testing it's hard to tell the precise impact.

3. Does Amazon factor in book review verbiage for search results?

In other words, if reviewers are very very specific in using certain terms in their reviews, can that help a book rank higher? 

My guess would have been "no" -- that Amazon only factors in what is in the keywords field, the title/subtitle and description fields. 

HOWEVER, I was surprised to find that wasn't the case.  At least when it comes to author searches. 

When searching on an author's name, some other books by different authors came up. In every case that I saw, the author's name was mentioned by a reviewer as a comparison ("if you're a fan of author X you'll love this book").  In one case it came up for a negative comparison ("if you want a better book, go get Title Z by Author Y").

Does that mean review language is part of Amazon's search engine, when you use the search box? That's what I wonder.

I should mention there were "also-boughts" for the searched author on the individual book page, and it is possible that Amazon was parsing "also boughts" rather than the review verbiage when it brought back that page.  More testing would be required to determine exactly whether language contained in a consumer review helps with search or is ignored.

Maybe someone knows the answers to these 3 questions?

Offline Jena H

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #132 on: January 04, 2015, 07:39:02 AM »
This isn't new, based on any sort of change in KDP policy, is it?  I know many have been "stuffing" the keyword space for quite a while now.   (Sorry, this post is new to me, and I've only read the first and last pages, so I apologize if I'm repeating anything already said/asked.)
Jena

Offline PamelaKelley

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #133 on: January 04, 2015, 07:42:43 AM »
Evenstar,

Thank you for this post. Following your suggestions, I changed the keywords on two books. After making the change, I immediate saw a 35% increase in sales on both books. My other books, which I did not change, did not see the same increase, so it was definitely driven by the keywords change. I also added some keywords to my product description.

Interestingly, there was no change in borrows on either book, just sales. My borrows often seem to 'stick' for a few days at the same number I've noticed.

Offline smikeo

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #134 on: January 04, 2015, 08:06:12 AM »
Thanks Evenstar, this was an amazing post, I appreciate the incredible effort! I'm already planning my stuffing...  ;D

Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #135 on: January 04, 2015, 08:12:33 AM »
Jan
Hardy boys style books is in your keywords, right?
If not, I'd definitely put it in. I can see people searching it and variations of it big time.


Busywoman
Glad you are finding it helpful.  :)
I'll get something together on the other questions.
Short answers are
1) relevance swayed by purchase history of buyers and rank
2) A LOT
3) Reviews play into the search algo
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 08:16:33 AM by Someone »

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #136 on: January 04, 2015, 08:18:40 AM »
Jan
Hardy boys style books is in your keywords, right?
If not, I'd definitely put it in. I can see people searching it and variations of it big time.


I've put it in the blurb. Should I also put it in the keywords?

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Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #137 on: January 04, 2015, 08:19:56 AM »
YES ( and I am yelling yes  ;) )

Offline Someone

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #138 on: January 04, 2015, 08:23:08 AM »
Blurb is weighed in the algo but the algo seems to not weigh it as high. I say seems because I am only drawing from my opinion/experience with trying to figure out the algo somewhat. Seems is a fair word bc it hasn't been heavily experimented with by anyone who has shared what they found out with me.

Offline Emily Wibberley

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #139 on: January 04, 2015, 08:31:55 AM »
Just tossing out another huge THANKS to Someone. Downloaded and reading now. :)

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #140 on: January 04, 2015, 08:43:34 AM »
Someone, thank you for the free book! :)

Yesterday I changed my keyword fields. Some of the terms I used are strings suggested by the Amazon search box ("alternative history dinosaurs"; "fantasy series for adults"). I used the commas to group terms that I thought might make the book appear in misleading places if they were divorced from their larger phrase ("sci-fi fantasy"). I used one of the keywords for a massive list of everything I thought relevant to the book. I used the full 400 available characters.

I might have to change everything again after I read Someone's book. :)

I'll report back if these changes make a difference.

FWIW, in my experience, terms in titles are highly valued in Amazon's searches.

Offline Darryl Hughes

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #141 on: January 04, 2015, 08:58:57 AM »
I think this Youtube video about how to use the Amazon search bar to find your "buyer keywords" will help a lot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do5IGzhIvdM

It's helped me find more targeted "buyer keywords" for my children's book that has gotten me to page one or two of my search terms. It's pretty much the same advice given in the popular book "Supercharge your Kindle sales" but in a short 5 minute video.

Happy keyword hunting. :)

Dee


"CHEVALIER THE QUEEN'S MOUSEKETEER: The Hither and Yon" by Darryl Hughes and Monique MacNaughton. It's a fabled fairy tale of enor-mouse proportions. NOW ON AMAZON FOR $.99!
http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Fantasy-Books-CHEVALIER-MOUSEKETEER-Illustrated-ebook/dp/B00DW3LZY2/sr=1-40&keywords=kids+fantasy+books

Offline busywoman

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #142 on: January 04, 2015, 09:35:37 AM »
I think this Youtube video about how to use the Amazon search bar to find your "buyer keywords" will help a lot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do5IGzhIvdM

It's helped me find more targeted "buyer keywords" for my children's book that has gotten me to page one or two of my search terms. It's pretty much the same advice given in the popular book "Supercharge your Kindle sales" but in a short 5 minute video.

Happy keyword hunting. :)

Dee
  Dee, that was helpful for purposes of identifying specific words to choose as keywords. 

I especially like the added point he makes starting at around minute 3:40. 

That's where he advises also using those buyer-oriented keywords in your author website, blog and -- I would add -- in some social media posts you do. 

Because remember, some people may start their searches outside of Amazon.  In other words, they may be searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Duck Duck Go, and so on. If they find similar search terms on the Web as a whole, pointing back to your website, blog, etc., those in turn can help funnel people toward your Amazon page. That assumes those pages on your website or blog somehow point to your book page on Amazon or refer to your book by name, and so on. Once a buyer finds a reference on the Web, the buyer should (hopefully) be able to follow the breadcrumbs to find your book page on Amazon and buy your book. 

"All roads lead to Rome."

« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 09:40:06 AM by busywoman »

Offline Bulkarn

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #143 on: January 04, 2015, 09:43:45 AM »
Great post and thread. Just want to pass something along that I have heard but not tested. If you know people who want to buy your book, ask them to search for it by a keyword and buy from that search result, rather than just give them a link. Theory is that when people buy from a search result the book creeps closer to the top of a the list.

Thanks for this great post and thread and to Someone for his book. Will test and report back.

Offline cblewgolf

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #144 on: January 04, 2015, 10:28:45 AM »
I read this post and changed all of my keywords Friday.  While nothing has changed as far as sales, the downloads on my perma-free sure did.  I was giving 1-3/day away w/o promotion.  (total of only 40 in December)  Yesterday I had 17 downloads.  I must attribute this to the keyword change - so thanks!

Question - why separate the keyword stuffing by commas?  Why not just 1 long list or do the individual groupings matter?

And can someone point me to their AMZN page where they include keywords in their blurb?  Is it a list at the end or do they incorporate them into the actual book description?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 11:33:11 AM by cblewgolf »

Offline Colin

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #145 on: January 04, 2015, 10:41:47 AM »
Great post and thread. Just want to pass something along that I have heard but not tested. If you know people who want to buy your book, ask them to search for it by a keyword and buy from that search result, rather than just give them a link. Theory is that when people buy from a search result the book creeps closer to the top of a the list.

Thanks for this great post and thread and to Someone for his book. Will test and report back.

I've tested this and it does work.

It's not an exact science, but to get a book from around page 30 of a given keyword search, to page one, you will need something like 150 to 200 sales from people using your chosen keyword/keyphrase. However, rather surprisingly, being on page one doesn't necessarily equate to a big increase in sales.

BTW. Great post Evenstar.  :)

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #146 on: January 04, 2015, 11:06:26 AM »
I've added Hardy Boys style to the blurb (it was only a short while ago, so don't know how long it takes) and I didn't see the book show up in that search. But now I've also added it to the keywords and included 'Nancy Drew style' as a reviewer said it reminded her of a Nancy Drew story, so I will see what happens.

(I can imagine someone at Amazon tearing their hair out over all the sudden keyword changes, and someone else from Amazon reading this thread and gleefully changing the algos in order to thwart us all   ::) :D )

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Offline jakedfw

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #147 on: January 04, 2015, 12:24:34 PM »
Downloaded the book via KU, and it is fantastic. REALLY great job, Someone.

Offline KelliWolfe

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #148 on: January 04, 2015, 01:17:35 PM »
I'll out myself
I did the Rock The Keywords "book" after doing tons of research, sharing it, and it helping a lot of authors.
I'll use a Select free day and make it free for you non-Ku'ers. I'll run it free for a day to be helpful but then I'll probably put it back to paid because I only get 5 in 90 days ( see talk about original purpose below )
It talks all about punctuation, repeating words, hyphens, etc.

I KNOW there are errors - typos - in it but I/we don't care. Maybe I/we should but I don't now. The errors don't interfere with the purpose or the original intent of putting it on Amazon. They also don't change what we have discovered and if people want to think they do, their loss not ours. It wasn't really ever put up to sell. The purpose when it was published was to use Amazon and KU as a server - to have it all together and only a link away for whoever whenever. When the purpose is no longer needed - the discussion dies off - the price to 2.99 and let it sit in case another time came up. Like now, :) Because I yap on other forums, I gotta be careful about using the 5 free days.
Shhh but using Amazon as basically a server saves the time to type a long post about what a group of people, who studied and studied this by experimenting and looking at results, and/or send an email.  I thought, "heck, I'll just make into what looks like a book. By not hosting it on one of my sites, I can keep my pen names anonymous and still enjoy sharing the info via a link".
We ran experiment after experiment using a lot of software like Kindle Samurai and stuff. ( I don't know why but I love the word stuff, LOL )

I see someone bought it- return it and grab it free.
I'm going in right now to make it free; hopefully it won't take too long ( going to be free on the 4th )
Here's the link. I'm going into my bookshelf now.
www.amazon.com/Rock-KDP-Keywords-Marketing-Publishing-ebook/dp/B00R6AYHYC


EDIT - For those without KU I was able to schedule a freebie for the 4th so it will go free at midnight
Thank you for this. Having done a lot of similar testing myself I can only imagine the hours that you guys put in to verify all of this. It validates a lot of my own research and clears up some things that I just wasn't able to establish firm answers for with the time and resources I had available, and has saved me a lot of time and headaches trying to figure out the rest..

One thing I'm not sure that I agree with is that word placement in the KDP textbox doesn't matter. When I search using different combinations of the same words, book placement in the search results varies The number of search results returned is identical in each case, but the books do show up in different orders within the results.

For example, if I search for "older man love story" and "love story older man" (logged out, searching in the Kindle Store) both return 818 results, but just scrolling down the first page you can quickly see that the books are returned in a different order. This effect seems magnified the further out in the search results the book appears.

I'm not sure whether the difference is enough to spend a lot of time worrying about it, but there does seem to be a difference.

Please don't take this as a criticism. I actually bought the book because I think it's incredibly valuable and you should be compensated for the time and effort you put into researching this. I'm just not sure this one specific part is entirely correct. It's also possible that there's something screwy going on from my end which I neglected to correct for and that's skewing the search results for some reason. That's why it's called "research."  :)

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Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: Evenstar's Monster Post on Amazon Keywords
« Reply #149 on: January 04, 2015, 02:11:45 PM »
I will stuff Book Two with keywords I couldn't fit in for book one that are more specific, like: Magic witches witchcraft Wicca pagan worship ceremony nature-worship moon goddess sorcery wizards wand occult (all those are just one keyword).

That keyword (actually key phrase) has 96 characters not counting spaces. So I guess you couldn't put in 7 keywords of that length if the limit is 350 - 400 characters.

I've never gotten to the point where the box tells me I've used up my full quota of keyword characters. How do we know what the actual limit is?


Philip

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