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Google SEO and "tagging"

5:26 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I currently operate a website which I manage with Wordpress, and it gives me the option of adding "tags" to my posts. I realize that this adds another way to categorize content, but does it also positively affect the SEO of my site? Wordpress suggests it doesn’t, but intuition tells me otherwise.

In other words, how does adding tags benefit me, if at all? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Categories vs. Tags
WordPress Support
http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/ [en.support.wordpress.com]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:56 pm (utc) on Jul 7, 2010]
[edit reason] fixed link and formatting [/edit]

7:07 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The plus side to using tags is that it links back relevant content to a "tag" index page which in theory helps your internal link structure if it's used effectively. The negative side IMO is that you can end up with all these extra doorway pages which don't really add anything to the top-down structure.

The way I use them is sparingly and for the visitor's benefit. I treat my category pages as the main SEO pages and I use the Headspace plugin to ensure each category page also comes with unique content.

I don't think tag pages hurt SEO as long as they are used sparingly and carry a reasonable amount of content (ie: a few hundred words), but I don't think they particularly help either. My feeling is that tag pages with next-to-no content probably do have a small negative SEO impact.
3:46 pm on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks much. As you were saying, I too am sort of concerned that these tags may only serve to confuse, dilute etc. the entry pages into the site, which could in the long run work against me, since I am formulating what I consider to be a structured model in which I try to get entrants to follow into my site. I've not used the plugin you mention, but will look into it. Thanks again.
7:18 am on July 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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these tags may only serve to confuse, dilute etc. the entry pages into the site

That's exactly what they do. Tags can be good for humans, but also bad for SEO. The more you use them, the more you are adding areas of duplicate content to your site - or even whole pages of duplicates. Most blogs I see have nearly as many tags as posts.

I personally would recommend that if you're already using categories, and the tag word is important, then have a category about it, and make tag pages 'noindex,follow'.

This thread links through to two others that have great information on planning and structuring your site.


The main problem with tags in blogs is that you can add them as an afterthought, so people have got used to using them that way rather than PLANNING their site.

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