Why should I tag my posts?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This post is about tags or labels or sometimes referred to as categories. Recently, I came across few blogs, while reviewing, which do not use tags for their posts.

Just imagine, you have hundreds of files in your office cabinet without any labels on it. You may argue that you are familiar with the files arrangement and you will always be able to pick the correct file. But, how about your poor colleague, who wants to find information when you are on leave? How will he identify the file he is looking for? The obvious solution is to provide labels that describe what is stored inside the file.

Hope it is clear now. Yes, tags can be used to categorize information in a blog. It provides an easy way to find information that is relevant to the reader. Each post in your blog should be tagged. You should also include a list of the tags in a prominent location on your blog.

Why should we use tags? One obvious reason is, you provide a better browsing experience to the readers. Secondly, services like Technorati use tags to classify posts. When a user searches for a particular keyword, there is a high possibility of your post showing up if you have used the same keyword as tag in your post.

Then, is it good to add many, many tags for my posts? I, personally feel, you should decide the tags for your posts even before you write anything. An entire blog should probably have somewhere around 10 to 20 tags. Anything more than that might not serve the purpose. I have come across a blog that used different tags for each post. So, the number of tags is almost equivalent to the number of posts itself. Not quite right.

Think of tags as an index page for a book. If the index is not interesting enough, I may not even open the book. Spend some time, think twice and get the tagging right.

Why Should I tag my posts?

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.


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