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Tags

  1. From what I read, adding tags to your blog posts improves readership. Is this because people go to some sort of tag library and then choose a tag to see what blog posts people have created about a particular topic? But what is the point of adding a tag if WordPress automatically includes your blog post in various tag categories based on the interior text you already created? Also, I saw one comment about not using the same tags over and over for different blog posts. But as usual, when I read anything that is Internet technical, I am able to understand about 5% of the content. Any ideas why it would be bad to use the same tags? Seems like if you write about a particular topic, for example, blueberry pies, you would always want to tag your posts as follows: blueberry pie.

    The blog I need help with is mickeymurphy.wordpress.com.

  2. Hi there,
    Here are support document links to helpful information:
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/tags/

    Search engine and WordPress.com treat tags in exactly the same way but it is important to note that the Categories we assign to posts are for defining broad subject areas and Tags are used to describe your post in more detail.

    Envision yourself in an old style library and remember how the catalogs we used were based on keywords Categories and keyword Tags. No move ahead and envision yourself logged onto the internet and using a search engine. Which keyword Categories and which keyword Tags would you use to locate your posts?

    Successful blogs draw between 30 - 60 % of their incoming targeted readers. from search engine referrals. Targeted readers are those who arrive on your site because they already have an interest in the content your posts and blog contain. They have typed keywords and phrases into search engines and located your posts in the SERPS (search engine page results) and clicked through to the posts. The fact that targeted readers already have an interest in the content in your posts means they are likely to read more than one post, more likely to leave comments, and more likely to become regular readers/subscribers.

    Consequently, the first step for any blogger to take to establish a flow of targeted readers to their blog is learning and applying the use of basic SEO elements so their posts and blog are actually accessible to potential readers, who use search engines. Part of those SEO techniques are the selection of a minimal number of Categories and Tags we assign to posts.

    I don't know what you mean by the same Categories and Tags not being used over and over again. If the current post in front of you is also in the same Category as your other posts (example your blog is on Marine Mammals) then use both subcategories (whales, walrus, porpoises, seals, sea lions, etc.) and Tags (North Atlantic, Pacific, diseases, food, migration) to home in on describing specific post content.

    Categories are like the chapter titles on a Table of Contents of a book. Tags are like the index terms that are found in the back pages of a book. Both are based on key word descriptions that naturally occur in any written language.

    Whenever you get confused about categories and tags imagine they are in a library looking for a book on a specific topic. Then, I ask yourself this: Which key words would I use to find book on that topic in a library catalog?

    If you change the word “book” to “blog” you will know how to find a blog on any specific topic by typing keywords into a search engine and getting back the results. If you change the word “blog” to “post” and imagine which descriptive key word terms a potential reader might use to look for a post like yours that may help you assign categories and tags more effectively.

  3. Seems like if you write about a particular topic, for example, blueberry pies, you would always want to tag your posts as follows: blueberry pie.

    Suppose you are a foodie blogger ready to assign Categories and Tags to a post containing a recipe for blueberry pie.
    Categories: Baking, Desserts, Recipes
    Sub-category - Pies
    Tag - Blueberry Pie

  4. Sorry I clicked too soon. Suppose you are the same foodie blogger ready to assign Categories and Tags to another post containing some information on the nutritional contents and health benefits of blueberries and a recipe for blueberry pie.

    Categories - Baking, Desserts, Recipes
    Sub-categories: Berries, Pies
    Tags - Blueberries, Health Benefits, Nutritional Facts, Blueberry Pie

  5. Well, this is all very helpful information. Thanks so much for the time you took to send me these responses. One more question: Are you indicating that by adding the various tags to your post, you are creating keywords that people on Google or other search engines might type in the search box? If so, this brings me back to the question still on my mind: Do tags somehow rank higher in search engines than words inside your blog posts? For example, I have a post that references the Chinese poet Chen Ziang and the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius in the text; plus I have the names Chen Ziang and Marcus Aurelius as tag items. (Actually, now that I think about it, isn't this unnecessary duplication? Unless, of course, tags rank higher for some reason than interior text.) Any light you can shed on this question will be greatly appreciated.

  6. Search engines will consider your tags like keywords, but they also scan the posts for keywords, so the number of "keywords" that end up linked to your post can be far greater than just your tags. Google and the other major search engines work hard to make sure they have a very good idea of what you are writing about and also to make sure people can find your stuff.

  7. yes, butt do tags count more than words inside the text? If not, why use them?

  8. Good question for which I have no answer other than to say that if the tags you use do not relate to the post and the keywords that the search engines see in the content, they are likely to ignore your tags and go with what they found in the content. The key is to make sure that the tags you use are relevant and then the search engines stay happy.

  9. Tags are one way search engines rank your blog, though not higher than content (they've been too abused). But for instance, I have 431 posts in the Travel category, and am about to go on an all-expenses paid trip 1700 miles long because using the tag that often put me in the Top 100 Travel blogs on Technorati. I wrote about various places and the act of traveling in the posts, but I wouldn't necessarily have used the word "Travel" in the content.

    http://raincoaster.com/category/travel/

  10. @raincoaster
    Too cool! Sounds like a great trip! :)

  11. THanks. Now, if only I had a departure date!

  12. LOL! All that anticipation building up for you, but no departure date -- hard to plan that way, too! You're going to blog about it, I assume?

  13. Yeah, but Im not going to blog about it until somebody's put a ticket in my hot little hand, so I can thank the sponsors slaveringly.
    PS

    http://icecoaster.wordpress.com Dunno what I'll put there, but it exists at least.

  14. Are you indicating that by adding the various tags to your post, you are creating keywords that people on Google or other search engines might type in the search box?

    I am stating don't hide your content from search engines -- cooperate with them because the sole reason search engines exist to help readers locate relevant and fresh content of interest to them.

    We know that
    (1) keyword and keyword phrases (categories and Tags) naturally occur in every language;

    (2) people use search engines by typing key words and key word phrases into them expecting to get back relevant and fresh results;

    (3) search engines aim to deliver the most relevant and fresh returns matching the when keywords and keyword phrases that are typed into them by people searching for content of interest to them;

    (4) it makes sense to use to assign the minimal number of relevant key word and keyword phrase Categories and Tags to our blog posts.

    re: Do tags somehow rank higher in search engines than words inside your blog posts?

    The content is scanned and the algorithm has built in operators that look for consistency between keywords in the title, subtitles, and keywords in the body text and the Categories assigned and the Tags assigned. This is necessary because there are leagues of people trying to use irrelevant keywords in titles, subtitles, body text , categories and tags. And search engines are aiming to deliver relevant results. Their top priority is relevance and consistency is a means of confirming it exists in a given document. When inconsistencies are experienced the spider bots puke that into the supplementary index and don't display it in the main SERPS (search engine page results) the user has requested by clicking "search".

  15. RATS! I left out words.

    (3) search engines aim to deliver the most relevant and fresh returns by matching what's in indexed titles, subtitles, body text, categories and tags when keywords and keyword phrases are typed into them by people searching for content of interest to them;

    @mickeymurphy
    If you do not wish to use Categories and/or Tags that's a choice you can make. The keywords are already in your titles, subtitles, and body text because you know how to write well, and you are not attempting to play and SEO games with search engines by using irrelevant keywords. Not using Categories and Tags means your posts won't appear in the WordPress.com global tag pages. The search engines will still find them.

  16. Thanks for all responses. Valuable info, indeed. To timehief and sacredpath I went to your blogs...quite nice. I am honored that you take your time to help me. Thanks.

  17. @mickeymurphy
    You're welcome from me. Thanks for the blog compliment and best wishes with your blogging. :)

  18. Wow this thread id SO informative. I have been tagging all my posts under 'cat'. But I think now I need to rethink this. Thank you all for this thread!! There is one thing @Timethiefs example makes me wonder though...

    The role of subcatagories. I don't have them and think of them as a convenience to the reader only. Am I wrong? Does google and wordpress think of a sub catagory as a second catagory? Must I create them?

    One thing I have always wondered in tags is that sometimes tag search will change my term 'cat' into the term 'cat2' What in the world is up with that? Ive even noticed some cat bloggers tag with 'cat2' and 'cat3'

  19. One helpful thing to remember about subcategories is that if I make, for example, "Angora" a subcategory of "Cat," I only need to use "Angora" as the category for the post and the post will still be filed under the main category, "Cat," as well. This can reduce the number of categories you feel you have to use to adequately describe/categorize your post. I prefer, when possible, to use only one or two categories per post and then I have a lot of "room" left for more tags that "fine tune" the keywords for the individual post.

  20. @lifewith4cats
    Thanks for the compliment on the quality of information in this thread. It was all mined from my mind and from my blog posts in the blog linked to my username.

    Question: Does google and wordpress think of a sub catagory as a second catagory? Must I create them?
    Answer: Search engines treat Categories, sub-categories and Tags all in the same way. You do not need to create subcategories if you do not wish to. In some blogs they are useful and in others they may not be. The choice is yours.

  21. What I do not understand is how you make tags work for the reader.

    I have been blogging regularly now for months, and add both categories and tags to each post.

    The categories work ok, in that clicking on each one presents the reader with posts given the corresponding category selected.

    This is NOT true of Tags, in my experience. Clicking on a tag invariably gives the message "Sorry, we don’t have any posts here with that tag. You may want to try ...".
    This seems like a pointless waste of time and effort.

    I repeat my main question. How do you get Tags to actually work?

  22. @dementianews Just FYI, the link in your name is misspelled and clicking it brings up this error message: dmentianews.wordpress.com doesn’t exist

    But it does give a suggested correctly spelled url beneath that.

    When I click the tag "Scotland" in one of your posts, I come up with a long list of posts in the global tags page. "Dementia Services Development Centre" likewise produces many posts on the global tags page. When I click one of your "narrow" tags, such as "Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust," however, there are no tags in the global tags page, whether clicking on the category or tag. There are posts tagged "Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust" in your own tags page (http://dementianews.wordpress.com/tag/royal-wolverhampton-hospitals-trust/), however.

    I've noticed two things when looking at your categories and tags is that you often have the exact same term used as both a category and a tag. This is unnecessary duplication. It also makes the combined total of categories and tags greater than the recommended number -- about 10 or 12 total.

    Other volunteers may be able to tell you more, but my recommendation is to eliminate the duplication of tags/categories -- make the categories broad headings and the tags more specific ones -- and reduce the number of combined categories & tags to about a dozen.

    This may be helpful: http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/

  23. Thanks mmadfan, I think I may have learned a lot here.

    I'll have to do a bit of research to understand what the global tags page is, and where to find it, but I thank you for the helpful "pointers".

  24. @dementianews
    Hello there,
    See here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/global-tags/
    As you are new to WordPress.com I can recommend a comprehensive tutorial. The Learn WordPress.com tutorial is divided into progressive levels and presented as a series: http://learn.wordpress.com/

  25. @dementianews: The global tags pages come up when you click a tag that's under your post; your own tags pages (or category pages) come up when you click a tag or category in a tag or category widget.

    The tags widget for your own tags/tags pages is actually a tags "cloud" which only shows the 45 most-used tags on your blog, so I replaced my tags widget with a list of tags & use a scroll bar so that the list doesn't go on and on! The categories widget does list all categories, though.

    I hope that you have fun!

    BTW, here's the global tags page for Scotland and your tags page for Scotland, just so you can see them:
    http://en.wordpress.com/tag/scotland/
    http://dementianews.wordpress.com/tag/scotland/

  26. ~~tt!

  27. Many thanks, mmadfan and timethief, for your many helpful suggestions.

    The process of enlightenment continues. Rome was not built in a day.

  28. You're welcome! And good luck with the blog. :-)

  29. @dementianews
    I'm happy to hear what I posted is helpful. You're welcome from me too. :)

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