Tags Attract Eyes

Tags take you where Google doesn’t.

What is the most popular three letter word on the Internet as far as Google knows? We probably should disregard words that describe the Internet such as net (4.95 billion entries) or Web (4.33 billion entries). If you’re thinking sex (824 million entries), you are wrong. It’s that humble word tag (1.04 billion entries).

Surprisingly, Google does not have a definition for tag, but you can see lots of examples all around you.

tag mind map

Tag is a word you’ll be hearing more and more about. Another word, you could use would be label. The search engines using computer-based algorithms sometimes have difficulty finding that article you know exists on say, ‘artificial intelligence’. If only the author had tagged or labeled his article ‘artificial intelligence’, then your chances of finding it would be much higher. You can use a service like Technorati, which tries to tag as much of the Web as it can.

To make the popular tags in a blog more visible, you can use what is called a tag cloud. This has been added to this blog in the right sidebar, and it is also being displayed in the other SMM blogs. This is a feature that is simplicity in itself to implement if you’re using the WordPress software. If you click on any link in that tag cloud, then you will see a list of the posts that carry that tag. The tag archive web page also displays a longer list of tags, together with the categories under which posts here are listed.

If the simple logic of the tag does not convince you, then further proof is in this week’s news item that the tag is getting a powerful friend. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet, is receiving a $350,000 grant from the James S and James L. Knight Foundation to help refine news searches by employing more sophisticated tagging, way upstream. He and Martin Moore are working with Reuters and the BBC to figure out how to incorporate “source tagging” into routine journalistic workflow.

If you are not using tags yet, isn’t it time you should start. Guten Tag.

Effective Tagging For Both Usability & SEOStephan Spencer