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Tagging Opinions

Posted on 2009-02-24
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We're integrating tagging into our site.  I'm debating on the URL structure, and naming convention for the addition.  The questions:

1.  Should the URL be something like you see regularly, www.xxx.com/tag/ or www.xxx.com/topic/?
2.  Should the tags be referred to as tags or topics?

The reason I ask such a question is because I'm concerned that search engine may start to ignore tags in general, because just about everyone is using them, and they are abused and not as useful as they used to be (opinion).

I'm looking for opinions on this, and whether I should reference tagged content on my site as tags or topics.  Basically, follow the heard or break away from the pack :).   This may seem silly, but you never know what search engines will start to do in their algos., and ignoring tags seems likely.
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Question by:golfDoctor
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by:parevkez
ID: 23726401
check this site it explains Uses and Abuses of tags.

http://affiliate-minder.com/wordpresstutorials/wordpress-tags-uses-and-abuses/
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by:golfDoctor
ID: 23743582
Thanks, but this isn't really what I was looking for when asking the question.  I understand how tags work, and am building my own tagging system.  The question is basically, is "tag" going to become a 'bad word' in SEO.    This is an opinion based questions, based on professional experience.
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by:parevkez
ID: 23744305
I don't worry much about tagging as long as you don't 'stuff' unrelated keywords just for the search engines.
I have seen that if the tag was mortgage it took me to special tagged page. However, most of the links on the tagged page essentially were some sort of a spam-blog, which basically was set-up for the express purpose of extracting money from Google.

this is not acceptable.

for example:if your post is about dating there is no harm adding tags which are relevance to the article such as words like meet singles,dating,soul mate,...this is valid way of using tags.



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by:golfDoctor
ID: 23746200
It don't think you understand my question, but I'm not sure how to explain it any differently.
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by:golfDoctor
ID: 23746214
Thanks anyway parevkez, no problem.
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by:parevkez
ID: 23746524
no valid reason to delete the question based on I quote "but I'm not sure how to explain it any differently."

he asked a question:"The question is basically, is "tag" going to become a 'bad word' in SEO.    This is an opinion based questions, based on professional experience."

I replied it in the post uses and abuses of tags and how to avoid it.
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gwkg earned 2000 total points
ID: 23752372
I use topic, but no, I don't think tag is a bad word in SEO.
I think of tags as alternative categorie links.
So if I had a blog about television shows my main categories were
American Idol
Access Hollywood
The Amazing Race
I might have a tag Ryan Seacrest since he is on two of the shows, but I don't want to dedicate an entire category to him.  Then visitors click on the Ryan Seacrest tag to visit
http://mytvshowsite.com/topic/Ryan-Seacrest
and see all posts across all categories that mention him.
This is not "bad" and is a very good way to create relevant pages for linking and adwords campaigns since that page is going to be extremely relevant for any Ryan Seacrest keyword phrases I want to target.
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by:crm911
ID: 23767030
I haven't seen anything to suggest that tags per se will become "bad" as far as algos are concerned. When contemplating any such feature, you have to ask "would a penalty for this feature be unfair to a large number of sites?"

Tags are found in many blogs and some high-traffic properties. IMO they are rarely used for SEO purposes. In fact I'd be more worried about creating duplicate URLs if the tag cloud application created a new URL for a given destination page. For example, if a page on wine was tagged "wine", "chablis", "France" and "vintage" then there could be four new URLs.

If the tag cloud application had an option to make those links nofollow, I'd turn them on. I see this feature as a user convenience, not an SEO benefit.

Having said that, I am monitoring a Joomla site that uses Zaragoza Clouds and, as best as I can tell, it has not suffered.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 23767054
>> Having said that, I am monitoring a Joomla site that uses Zaragoza Clouds and, as best as I can tell, it has not
>> suffered.

Has it benefitted?
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by:crm911
ID: 23767257
jason1178,

I don't want to sidetrack the OP's question, so will try to respond with him in mind.

The Joomla site in question is performing like a champ (not because of the tag cloud) but in an overall sense. In five months, this 200-page site is delivering >1000 visits a day. It is a trial site intended to replace an older not-SEF platform with about 2000 pages, which gets about 1200 visits a day.

Zaragoza Clouds creates its own URLs, so there is a theoretical dupe URL problem but as this is not a permanent website, I didn't bother to hack the extension to make the links nofollow. Therefore I can't say that the site has benefitted (can't imagine dupe URLs helping) -- just that it hasn't suffered.

The above extension creates a link from the tag to a search result (not to a final article URL) like this:
hxxp://www.example.com/component/search/kitchen/?searchphrase=exact

OTOH, a normal search creates a different URL:
hxxp://www.example.com/component/search/kitchen/?ordering=newest&searchphrase=exact&limit=20

[SEF URLs are not used at this site.]

At this site, search results pages are not linked from anywhere other than Z Clouds, otherwise there could be a real dupe URL problem.

Therefore, I'd say to the OP - don't spend too much effort on making the tag URL contain /tag/ or /topic/. The presence of a keyword in a URL is a very small ranking factor. Just ensure that there are no dupe URLs.
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