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Use Tagging To Boost Your Search Rankings

04 Nov Posted by in Blog, SEO | Comments
Use Tagging To Boost Your Search Rankings

Have you ever considered the impact of tagging your blog posts? No we’re not talking about spraying your blog with graffiti, this is how Wikipedia defines a tag:

A tag is a keyword or term assigned to a piece of information. Many blog systems allow authors to add free-form tags to a post, along with (or instead of) placing the post into categories.

For example, a post may have been tagged with “hotel” and “gold coast“. Each of those tags is usually a hyper-link leading to a results page which lists all of the posts associated with that tag. The blog may have a sidebar or a tag cloud listing all the tags in use on that blog, with each tag leading to a results page as you can see below:

Tag Cloud

As you can see tags are used on the lower right side for categorising the posts in the form of a tag cloud. In a tag cloud, the font size of each keyword is proportionate to the number of times that keyword has been used as a tag. In other words, the more items a tag has been associated with, the larger the font size.

A tag cloud provides web visitors with a quick visual indication of what tags are most popular on a site. This represents a new, more intuitive way to navigate an extensive collection of content and find information.

Clicking on a tag leads the visitor to a tag results page. A tag page contains a collection of the most recent items that have been tagged with the particular keyword.

If you have ever written a blog chances are that every time you write an article you decide to assign specific keywords (tags) that summarise the content of that specific article or blog. But perhaps you have never realised the benefits that tagging can have when done right.

Stay with us as we show you how tags can impact your search engine rankings and  how you can effectively use tag optimisation to improve the traffic to your website.

How can tags help my Search engine rankings?

Tags represent a powerful tool for search engine optimisation.

If you assign the tag ‘surfers paradise attractions’ to the post, your website  will automatically create a new page where all posts with the tag ‘surfers paradise attractions’ will be listed. If you assign a couple of tags to the post, you automatically generate two new pages (with unique titles) to your blog that Google can index which will attract search engine traffic!

Tagging also allows you to flow the ‘link juice’ more strategically throughout your website, the power of which comes into play when you reuse the same tag over and over again. Because posts usually list tags at the end, these reused tags will have more incoming links to them, and thus pick up more of Page Rank juice. With greater Page Rank, they are also more likely to be shown in the search engine results.

How can tags harm my Search engine rankings?

In a recent video, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, suggested bloggers shouldn’t add a tag cloud in their blogs for 3 reasons:

  1. Too many tags on the blog page can result in link juice dilution. For instance, if you have a tag cloud with 40 tags, then can have a negative impact on your search results.
  2. Search engines might consider tags as keyword stuffing if too many tags with same kind of keywords are present in the tag cloud.
  3. Since the tags are linked to a page, it lets the Pagerank of a page flow through and thus decreases the page’s overall weight (Pagerank Leakage)

6 tips for using tags effectively

  1. Choose your tags, but make sure they are very related to each other
  2. What will get you rankings in search engines is if your tag is actually a phrase that is searched for and thus generate visitors, so focus on the customer!
  3. Display categories on the Home page. Categories are like folders and their purpose is to categorise content. Generally every tag that you use is included in a parent category. The main advantage of categories is that there is a set amount of them — and if you want to utilize them properly then there shouldn’t be too many either. This lets your website visitors scan through the list quickly to choose the topic they wish to explore.

    Some websites are very smart at using categories and they provide a clear way to visitors to easily find what they are looking for.

  4. Create a tag page instead of a tag cloud, where you display the best tags: Since the tag page will be linked from all pages of your site, it will accumulate a massive amount of value and proceed to spread it evenly among your most important tags.
  5. If you decide to implement a tag cloud, make sure you limit the amount of keywords displayed but use the same tags repeatedly.
  6. Track the tag performance by using Google Analytics! Have a look at how the website visits can have a boost by simply getting a tagging optimisation strategy right:

Google analytics tags

Don’t know where to start?

Let get you up and running with an effective tagging strategy. Don’t forget our online marketing forums are open and available to all members providing you exclusive access to our team of web and search marketing professionals.

If you haven’t taken advantage of the discounted 5 month membership for $88 made available by the AusIndustry Small Business Online Program then I suggest you head over to and register for the virtual workshop program today as time is running out!

Written by

Adam is a director of UntangleMyWeb. He has 13 years experience in web technology and business transformation at a senior level in the energy and information industry. His key strengths lie in online marketing, project management, strategic planning, technology utilisation, software development and people management.

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