I recently removed 1750 tags from my company's blog. Many of them were irrelevant or synonyms created by someone who didn't know how to use tags, some were even misspellings. I removed 1730 of them, removing them from the tag section in Wordpress, as well as from the actual article in the QuickEdit section.
I was under the impression this would add to SEO efforts, as many articles detail that, such as this one from Yoast. However, rankings for the keyword "recruitment software" dropped from #17 to #30. Other more niched keywords lost rankings for the homepage altogether, and a blog post appeared there instead (albeit a few ranking spots lower).
I'm worried that removing all those tags have produced 404 errors which have caused the nose-dive in rankings :/, should 301 redirects be created for each lost tag webpage? In the Wordpress backend, Yoast was suggesting I do that with their app's premium version as I was deleting. Any ideas would be much appreciated, as you can imagine the fright and dread I got from losing rankings like that overnight.
FYI, it has been a week since the fall in rankings, fluctuations seem to have slowed.