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Nico
08-15-2007, 11:58 PM
Hi,

I recently started implementing a Categories system in one of my sites (signature). But i was also thinking on using a Tag system or Cloud Tags. The problem is that since im already using categories i don't know if it would be ok to use tags. Is it one or the other Or you think i can use both?

The idea is to use categories to group popular and important groups like "Presidents" or "Entertainment" and then allow users to search through specials tags. Maybe also use a Tag Cloud. And of course, showing related tags at the end of each famous profile.

What do you think?

Chris
08-16-2007, 09:20 AM
I think you can do both, I'm doing that with a new site.

Categories allow you structure as defined by you, tags are more freeform and defined by users. You can use both.

Nico
08-16-2007, 08:20 PM
Cool, thanks.

When you say "...tags are more freeform and defined by users"...you mean that i should allow users to enter the tags? Because i was thinking of entering them myself, since im the one putting the content.

agua
08-16-2007, 08:51 PM
I think Aaron Wall from SEO Book doesn't like them - he think they effect serps - you can read his thoughts here:

http://www.seobook.com/archives/002022.shtml

Chris
08-17-2007, 06:04 AM
Who cares what Aaron Wall thinks?

But yes Nico, tags only make sense if users contribute them. But then again, a tag system also only makes sense if you have user accounts in someway integrated with your CMS.

If you're not doing it for/with users like that, then it isn't a really a true tag implementation and I wouldn't do it.

agua
08-17-2007, 06:33 AM
Who cares what Aaron Wall thinks?Well I like to research my information from all sources to give myself a better understanding.

I take it you don't agree with this then Chris... care to elaborate?

Chris
08-17-2007, 08:17 AM
I didn't read what you linked to.

Its just that Aaron Wall's original thoughts on SEO tend to be wrong most of the time.

There is a worry with tag clouds that they could be seen by search engines as link spam of some sort since they're keyword rich and repeated. Google has officially said that they're fine and not considered spam. If you are worried about that it'd be a simple matter to just rel=nofollow all the links in your tag cloud.

So, there is no good SEO reason NOT to use them, you should use them if they enrich the user experience on your site.

Nico
08-17-2007, 02:37 PM
So, there is no good SEO reason NOT to use them, you should use them if they enrich the user experience on your site.

I think that's the key...doing it if it helps users & your site...even if it's not the best thing for SEO. Although, like Chris said, there isn't a very good SEO reason not to use them.





If you're not doing it for/with users like that, then it isn't a really a true tag implementation and I wouldn't do it.

Thanks Chris. I don't have users accounts, etc, so i don't think allowing them to enter tags would be the best.

But i can still see some benefit, even if i enter the tags myself. I mean, the concep is pretty similar, right? I enter X tags per profile, so users can make a search by just entering a specific tag, instead of a name. And i can still make a tag cloud or similar to allow them to browse through tags.
Unless im missing something (?)

agua
08-17-2007, 05:52 PM
Thanks Chris - I've always liked the idea of tag clouds - maybe I'll take another look

Chris
08-17-2007, 06:30 PM
I think that's the key...doing it if it helps users & your site...even if it's not the best thing for SEO. Although, like Chris said, there isn't a very good SEO reason not to use them.





Thanks Chris. I don't have users accounts, etc, so i don't think allowing them to enter tags would be the best.

But i can still see some benefit, even if i enter the tags myself. I mean, the concep is pretty similar, right? I enter X tags per profile, so users can make a search by just entering a specific tag, instead of a name. And i can still make a tag cloud or similar to allow them to browse through tags.
Unless im missing something (?)


You are missing a little.

Tags are meant to be a way to allow users to categorize things based on their individual tastes. By grouping them into clouds you gain perspective into relationships between data.

So, two individuals might not tag the same piece of content the same way, additionally the tags they use will mean different things to different people. Other things tagged using the same words will also vary.

So, tagging has two purposes.

The first purpose is as a way to organize the content a person has tagged, such as delicious. Tagging is a way for someone to categorize and otherwise make notes about the content they view that they may want to view again. It helps them come back.

The second purpose is that through the tag cloud you can browse and find new relationships to other content you may not have been able to find, and this is only possible through the wisdom of the crowd (everyone adding tags).

So a tag cloud will have varying font sizes based on tag relevance (how many people used the tag). Then when you click in the cloud to view other articles with the same tag they'll again be listed via popularity (usually) so you'll see the most popular articles with that same tag.

With only 1 person adding tags you don't really get that, you just get many::many categorization by a different name.

Selkirk
08-18-2007, 10:55 AM
I think Aaron Wall's problem with tag clouds is that the tag pages themselves don't usually contain much (if any) original content and are difficult to gain external links to. That makes them fairly uninteresting to the search engines. In other posts, he has recommended excluding the tag pages from the search engines via robots.txt to let the SE robots focus on more valuable pages on your site.

The same idea applies to other strictly navigational pages, such as archives. I can see the argument for making your site "tighter" by taking the pages that the SE is never going to care about out of consideration.

Another approach might be to attempt to "freshen up" your tag pages to make them more unique and interesting to the search engines.

I've got categories and tags on my blog.

The categories are general themes and have feeds available. I do get external links to category pages, feed subscribers and many people click on the category pages for navigation.

I get virtually no external links to tag pages, no bookmarks and less than 1% of the visitors to a post will click on one of those tag links. They also get virtually no SE traffic for me. (surprise.) They are pretty much worthless in my book. I'd be better off entering keywords for the meta tag, really.

However, I also have the delicious bookmarking widget which includes a tag cloud. I've tried all the bookmark this page widgets and that is the only one that actually seems worth it to me. It does link its tag cloud to delicious, which seams like a waste and a leak to me.

I keep the tag cloud around because I have plans someday to link the delcious widget back into my own tag cloud instead of delicious. However, I might still block the tag cloud with robots.txt at some point.

experiment pending.

Nico
08-23-2007, 01:44 AM
Thanks for the explanation Chris. It looks like what i was trying to do wasn't matching the actual concept of Tag systems. I think i'll leave this idea out for a while.

I just found this site http://www.phpdeveloper.org/ and it looks like he is doing something similar to what i was talking about. Or at least i didn't find a way for users to create tags.