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Tagging content (i.e. categorizing content using "tags") is a sensible way to group content on a web site, but does tagging actually affect SEO?

From an SEO standpoint, how does tagging content affect search ranking? Is there any way to optimize the set of tags for SEO? Should I limit the number of tags in any way?

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2 Answers 2

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The tags won't affect the pages directly by being on that page (although I am sure someone will say having the tag will increase your keyword density but I wouldn't even give too much thought to that). So adding tags in the hopes that they are directly a ranking factor would not be a good use of time.

How it can help SEO is when you have a dedicated page(s) for each tag that page will be naturally optimized for that keyword. That page will (theoretically) potentially rank well for it. That page can then drive traffic and potential link givers to pages tagged with that keyword. Also, the interlinkng by your pages will help to increase each page's PR as well as boost each other's rankings due to the advantages of anchor text and everything else incoming links have to offer. (Yes, internal links are very good to have. Just ask Wikipedia).

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What's the difference between this question, and mine regarding how keywords qualify to be in an index. My question is way more likely to have a "right" answer than this one. Your using words like "theoretically" and "potentially" which would appear to me to say you don't know your answer is right, and more to the point that there is no right answer for this question. Why is this question not a community wiki? –  blunders Nov 15 '10 at 0:15
    
Your question was essentially asking for a list which means there is no one right answer or more correct answer. List style questions have to be community wiki. Answers like this can have a right or more correct answer. –  John Conde Nov 15 '10 at 1:01
    
Thanks, great answer. Do you think that the size of the set of tags make any difference? Is there any benefit to limiting the overall number of tags used on a site? –  Ken Liu Nov 15 '10 at 19:20
    
StackOverflow and its sister sites have lots and lots of tags and they do quite well so I'd say there's no need to limit the amount of tags used on the site. If anything, the more the better as each tag is an opportunity to reach a new audience. –  John Conde Nov 15 '10 at 19:35
    
Good point, thanks. Note however, that there is a mechanism in place for people to edit tags and limit junk tags from being created. –  Ken Liu Nov 15 '10 at 19:45

Here's what Matt Cutts from Google has to say on the subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A96yDPqa2rs

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