Tag clouds consist of a visually generated cloud of words. Generally, each of the words link to another page within a site and consist of a single word. In some cases, the color and size of the words are used to demonstrate the importance of the words. Depending on the site, the word list consist of an alphabetical order.
Brief History – Originally, Flickr became one of the first websites to feature tag clouds. A number of sites such as Del.cio.us and Technorati followed with the use of tags, which contributed to their popularity. The main concept of the tags corresponds to providing a visual reference for a blog’s interaction and usability.
Throughout the years, tag clouds have continued to grow in popularity, especially with bloggers. One of the main reasons pertains to how there are some situations where it can contribute to positive Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Therefore, proper implementation of tags is important in order to have any type of SEO value. Proper use of the tags often helps a site to appear more connected while crawled by a search engine spider. This generally helps to increase the site’s page rank by increasing SEO value.
SEO Further Explained – SEO pertains to changes made on a website in order to improve user experience, in addition to search engine crawls. In response, a user’s interaction experience may increase, along with making a noticeable change on organic search performance.
Tag Clouds Further Explained – As mentioned before, the appearance of tag clouds usually depends on the website. Therefore, some word lists consist of a random order while others appear alphabetically. Tag sorting may also have to do with the word’s weight or other factors as well. Presently, a rectangular tag arrangement consists of one of the most popular arrangement types. In general, the tags design layout should correspond to the user’s goals.
Recent research has found that tags larger in size tend to attract more attention than those which are smaller. In addition, users tend to prefer scanning tags rather than reading them. In consideration, most studies indicate that tags more towards the left center attract users more than those near the border. In general, SEO should focus on providing what is best for the people visiting your website or blog.
With that in mind, optimization efforts should relate more to what the visitors want rather than targeting the search engine rankings as priority. The wants of the blog user remains important, since traffic primarily comes from searches performed within search engines. In general, one of the main advantages of tags has to do with the way that it helps people visiting your blog to navigate through your posts.
This results in making it easier for visitors to your site to find topics of interest. Furthermore, search engines experience an easier time navigating through your site as well. The reason for this has to do with how each of the links relate to the content within your site. In addition, tag clouds can provide you with more of an understanding of what interests visitors to your site have.
Largely, this has to do with the way the tags are updated according to real time. This results in content that gives users more of a real time experience. On the other hand, tag clouds have their limitations as well. Primarily, this has to do with how the terms are limited to a single word.
In some cases, this may present as a problem for a blogger unless the site is niche focused. Therefore, blogs consisting of a broad topic may find no advantages with the use of tag clouds requiring the use of single words. Furthermore, they present a problem in some cases since they give users an opportunity to spam tag clouds on your site. Therefore, there is the chance of having spam links placed within the tags, which do not relate to the content on your site in an attempt to take away traffic from your site. In addition, this may potentially decrease your search engine rankings as well.
Considerations – Often, using tag clouds depends on the size and depth of information on your site. Furthermore, keep in mind how tag clouds can harm your search engine rankings if you have too many pages linked to a term. Mainly, this has to do with how search engine spiders may see this as keyword stuffing.
Overall, SEO should always work according to the users wants and needs, rather than you trying to cater to the type of things that are said to help page rankings. Ultimately, visitors to your blog are one of the most important things for the vitality of your website.