What Does The Explore Page Need To Rank + How The Instagram Algorithm Will Work

What Does The Explore Page Need To Rank + How The Instagram Algorithm Will Work

The Explore page of an Instagram account is a valuable real estate property, but with recent changes, we need to reassess how we bid for this big time branding opportunity. The change, which moved away from a traditional photos-first design to more visual, branded image focussed content was met with a mixed response because it fundamentally changed the nature of the platform—from a photo sharing app to primarily a business avenue (and media platform).

Follow these tips to start showing up on people’s Explore page in no time!

Focus on your Niche or Industry

Something to keep in mind as you’re scrolling through your Explore feed is that Instagram does its best to decipher what you love and give you more of it. You are seeing content that the app has generated for you based on those preferences and past experiences. Identify the target audiences you’d like to reach in Explore and learn what content these users engage with most.

Try leading content, such as Reels

Getting discovered in the Reels tab could mean getting discovered in the Explore tab, too. Remember, engagement goes beyond likes and comments. So aim to create Reels that people will want to share and/or save as well. 

Build Community Relationships

Encourage more interactions such as using stickers in Instagram stories, start and participate in brand conversations in the comment section, drive Dms and story replies. 

Optimise your Hashtag Strategy 

Have a set of mixed hashtags to be used. Geotags, account tags and hashtags are additional ways to extend the reach of your content within the Explore page. 

Check Analytics to See What’s Working

Having a better understanding of what’s working (and what isn’t) will help you come up with a finely tuned marketing plan, saving you time and effort in the long run.

Here are three additional factors that also influence the Instagram algorithm:


In certain cases, the app will even show you a post that’s not in your feed chronologically. The algorithm behind it takes into account the amount of time you spend on Instagram, the use of hashtags and likes you give to posts, your behavior, and more.

Interaction History

Have you interacted with this person or their content in the past (even if you don’t follow them)?

Taking into consideration how many people you follow on Instagram and how often you follow new accounts, Instagram’s algorithm has more options to choose from when filtering content to the top of your Explore page and/or feed.


What type of content do you usually like, save, or share? How do you interact with posts in Explore? They have made a concerted effort to bottom out the content pool and use your specifications to present you with new and engaging content no matter how many hours you spend scrolling the Explore page or your feed.

By 2022, Instagram will more closely resemble a search engine than a conventional social platform. Search terms will be directly tied to posts and users, making them an integral part of your social marketing campaign. With the way that Instagram has built out their search capabilities in the last year, there’s no reason to believe that this won’t continue to be their ultimate goal.

Ready to plan your Instagram content in advance to get visible in Instagrams’ Explore page? Start getting your FREE CONTENT MARKETING CALENDAR with The Pink Room!