These questions were provided by “A Guy Called Bloke” and are about the use of tags in our blogs.
Do you use Tags on your blog posts, and do you find them a practical resource for you or your readers?
I do use tags and categories in all my posts. It is the way I learned when I started blogging. I do find them a practical resource for my own use, particularly in our doll blog. Every week I post a picture of a fashion doll and as I’ve now been doing that for eight years tags help me to search back over old posts to see which ones I’ve already featured. They may also help readers to find a specific post or group of posts from my archives.
Do you think your readership takes any notice of the Tags you have added to your published content?
I honestly don’t know how much regular readers use them but I hope that they are helpful to people who may not be readers but are searching for a particular subject. For instance, if I do a search for “Netta Dolls” on my browser, a post I wrote about them will come up in the results. I think for the doll collecting community the tags are useful, especially as I write about a variety of doll related subjects.
If you are a regular ‘user’ of Tags, do you randomly add them or very specifically optimise their use with your content?
What would be the point of random tags? I try to make them specific to the subject I’m writing about. There is nothing more annoying than doing a search for a specific subject and getting a whole lot of results which barely mention that subject. Well, OK, there are a lot of things more annoying than that but I’m sure anyone who has been searching for information has had that happen to them and it is not helpful.
If I’m writing about Pedigree Sindy dolls I’d tag my post “Fashion dolls” “Pedigree” “Sindy”. I wouldn’t tag it Barbie just because Barbie is also a fashion doll.
Another thing that I always do is use tags when I’m writing posts for prompts. Usually, the host will ask you to do this anyway as it makes the post easier to find. I always include the name of the prompt and the acronym in my tags. Any posts I write about Tasmanian places are always tagged “Tasmania” as well as the specific area referred to. I use categories for this too but I figure that some people might search by tags rather than categories so I do both.
So yes, I think that tags are useful and I like to use them. I may be totally wrong and wasting my time putting them in but I don’t think so. I have visited blogs where there are no tags, categories or even archives to help locate subjects that might be of interest to me and I do find these frustrating to navigate.
I think the question of whether or not readers notice categories or tags is silly. They are search functions, not meant for readers to “look at” or admire. The point of them is so that when your reader, followers, friends, and commenters are looking for something, your posts will pop up. Google and other search engines use them and people ON WordPress use them to find you if WP has managed to lose you from their database — again. The reason I haven’t answered this is because it’s going under the assumption that readers would have any reason to look at tags or categories.
Tags and categories are tools, not content. They are useful, but they aren’t part of the story or part of the post. They are TAGS. Of course you use them and so do I. I write a lot of posts and tags and categories let me find what I’m looking for. I often don’t remember the name of the post, but I remember what was in it. I search for a tag or category that will get me there. Probably so do we al.
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I agree Marilyn. I don’t go to your blog or anyone’s blog to spend time reading their tags. In fact usually I read all the posts I’m interested in without looking in the categories. I see them as being more useful for people using search engines.