The importance of Tags: for bloggers

I used to think tags just came on clothes…ah, the innocence. Tags are an important part of  blogging. A very important part. Apparently, the search engines out there use tags to send traffic to blogs. Sooo, if you want to have people come to your blog, you want to tag your posts very carefully. In fact, you want to tag your post under the topics people are most interested in.

WordPress can help. It has a Tag cloud with all the most popular tags in different sizes. The larger they are, the more popular they are (I honestly didn’t know that at first. No laughing).

If you want more traffic, you can go to the cloud and ‘tag’ your post under one of the largest categories. Be warned, if you have a post on baking chocolate chip cookies and you tagged it under ‘Top Stories Travel’ just to get traffic, that same traffic might get ticked that you’re misleading them and your idea might backfire.

If you want more traffic, you can also use more tags but there’s a catch here too. WordPress will penalize you…more on this later.

Now, you might be wondering how on earth does a newbie blogger like myself come to know this great info? Well, I can’t take any credit for any of this. Nope. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants (or one giant as it happens). This all comes from a great post by Gene’O in his great blog: Sourcerer. He has a post with the link to the WordPress Tag Cloud, a clear explanation on the number of tags you’re allowed and great tips for bloggers who have no idea (like me!). Here’s the link: http://sourcererblog.wordpress.com/tags-are-your-friends/

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19 thoughts on “The importance of Tags: for bloggers

  1. The “penalize” aspect is interesting, and I’d love to know how exactly it works– especially since I tend to use tags as commentary on the post itself half the time; I know full well 75% of my tags are never bringing a hit; I just think they’re funny.

    • The penalize aspect raised my antennae as well. If you use too many, WordPress penalizes but I don’t know how exactly. I do have the link to Gene’O who seemed to know a heck of a lot more than me. If you find out, let me know! 🙂

  2. Great post about tags. I am learning also about how many to use etc. I was researching and found that the more tags you use the less likely your post will be selected for inclusion in the topic listings.by WordPress.

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  4. If I understood what I read in the help files, it’s not just “the more you use;” in other words, using two doesn’t make you less likely to be included than one. It’s once you get up to 15 tags+categories that you become less likely to be included. I think this is what “penalized” refers to. (Of course I could be misinterpreting, if so, I would love to know how it actually works).

    • I got this from them: “The more categories you use, the less likely it is that your post will be selected for inclusion in the topic listings.” I have no idea exactly how it works but I bet they have algorithms that maybe work on tag numbers. But, you’re right, there’s no actual explanation of how it works.

  5. I did the commentary thing with tags for a little while, but I read the help files that generated that page and decided I would rather use my tags to hit news feeds. Typically, my posts have 12 or 13 tags and one category, to skate under the “15” rule. I hope they are shooting straight with that.

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