What is the importance of WordPress 'Tags'?

Hello people,

I wanted to ask the experts here what’s behind the ‘Tags’ method? Every new post i make goes under a category, is this not enough?

Thank you!

Tagging is supposed to help in organizing content beyond what categories do. For instance, you write an article about rain in the springtime. The major focus of the article is “rain” but you can tag it “spring time” as well. That way, someone looking for “spring time” articles can find it as well as someone looking for rain. Or you may have categories as “Poetry, prose, non-fiction”. Your tags can help users find your topics in each category.

gotchya! thanks a bunch :slight_smile:

Beyond that, they’re also often used as keywords in meta, which gives the page (slightly) more relevance for those tagged words.

It’s kind of the same idea behind categories, but it’s a many-to-many relationship, so it can cross boundaries that normal categories typically form.

I’m not sure i understand… are you saying that tags can/should be more specific? so Categories are general and Tags more specific?

excuse my ignorance…

Not quite.

Tags is essentially another name for “keywords”.

So, for example, say you right an article about landscape photography on your website which has all kinds of things. Something like this may go under the category “Photography”, but you may give it takes that include “mountains” and “trees”. Say you also have another article which talks about mountain climbing. You may file this under a category such as “Outdoor Sports”.

However, you could also give it a tag of “mountains”. Then, if anyone was interested in finding posts about mountains, regardless of their actual subject, they could just view everything that was tag under “mountains”.

It basically creates common threads between generally unrelated information. Categories on the other hand generally dictate a direct relationship in the subject of the information.

Any clearer?

Very cool! got it.

Cheers for that!!

Tags in wordpress is necessary mainly because it can help your readers locate posts they need on your site easily. If your website visitor can’t locate what they need, they will surely leave. Not only that, these tag’s likewise can be advantageous in your website in terms of search engine rankings. It add to your page’s keyword density.

It’s just another part of SEO stuffs. This will help to locate the main keywords of a particular website.

What makes you say that? Seems peculiar after reading all the answers that came before it. Tags are there to help visitors find interesting posts, not for search engines.

I have heard that tags should be used with caution when it comes to SEO. Something to do with Pagerank…? Might be something worth researching if SEO is a big concern.

Perhaps so, but as Google advises, design your site for your visitor.

If you are doing things to improve the usability of your site for your visitors and not for the Search Engines, then you are doing things right. More visitors mean more organic linking – both through networking, emails referrals, and earned backlinks. Those things add up to more authority, which is something SE value highly. So, adding tags that help your visitor spend more time on your site is all good.

When I started on the web, you had to put on a pair of hip boots to find anything worthwhile in a Search Engine. It is not perfect now, by any means, but things are better than they were back then. Unfortunately, though, there will always be bottom feeders trying to rise to the top. Keyword stuffing their sites from the Title Element to the last word on a page. Good usability and good content will keep them down where they belong.

That’s why SitePoint added this area. So let’s keep the discussion to what is good for your content and let those worried about Search Engine results take their concerns to the SEO forum.

I think some people might be interested in both, though! :slight_smile:

What I recall is a suggestion to add no-follow attributes to some of the tag links, I think for tag clouds. Doing so has no affect on content one way or the other, so it’s not like spending time on SEO necessarily means you’re taking away from providing good content (which I do believe in).

Wow, great discussion!

Renkai is right when he says “some people might be interested in both”.
The question was really aimed at the importance within the blog but it’s very interesting to learn about the effect/benefits it has on SEO…

Thanks a lot!!

In which case, you may want to start a thread about tagging in the SEO section of SitePoint. However, we would like to keep the discussion in this area related to content for your website and blogging.

I hope I understand it correctly…tags are specifically helpful for site content and for your blog posts to go viral?

Yes. Tags help your visitors find other posts on topic for their interests even though they may be in a different category that originally posted.

For instance, suppose you have a group of friends who enjoy all things camping. In a category about Mountain Climbing, there might be a post that goes into detail about setting up camp on the mountain. Your friends aren’t going to want to weed through that category to find the one post about camping. Adding the tag camping to the post allows visitors to find it (and possibly others) that will interest both you and your camping friends.

Tags and Categories are extremely different. Tags referred to the keywords or key points for that article. While category is for categorizing the article. For an example, we can post an article about “internet marketing” under the category Internet and at the same time we can add tags such as internet marketing, online marketing into it.

Tags are used to help readers what you topic is all about. It is similar to categories but they have differences in some ways.

categories make a blog looks like a website. All the related post can be put together under the name of same categories, visitors interested in particular category can find all the articles at one place.
Tags can be used to define the content in more specific way, if a visitor want to read content related to a particular keyword then he can get it by clicking on the tag.
Also Tags is widely used for the keyword stuffing in the individual pages of the articles. Search engines can identify the content by looking at the tags added either at the top or the bottom of the articles.