Categories + Tags ≠ 10

I learned a new word today from TimeThief’s most recent post spamdexing.

It refers to the practice of boosting your page views by adding irrelevant categories and tags (keywords that help search engines index internet content) to your posts. Overdoing categories and tags is frowned upon. WordPress won’t feature your blog in its tag listings if your post’s total of categories and tags exceeds 10, and that is not a good thing because being in the tag listings brings readers, as I’ve discovered {waves to Danielle}. Fewer is even better.

For the non-bloggers out there, a “category” is the, um, category a post fits into, such as The Writing Life, Notes from the Neighborhood, or Blogging Tips. A “tag” is a specific element mentioned, such as a notebook or cool software or what’s blooming. In a WordPress blog like mine, they show up at the bottom of each post, like this one from last Friday.

Being new to blogging, I tagged a little too enthusiastically once I got the hang of it so I went back over my previous posts this morning and trimmed a few that were not 100% necessary.

You can read more about what WordPress has to say about using categories and tags to increase traffic by clicking here. I think the information would be equally helpful for people who post via Blogger (where they seem to be called “labels”). I’m not sure if LiveJournal has a similar feature; I checked a few LJ blogs but didn’t quickly see anything.

And, because I promised an update, here is the latest photo of Bud the Amaryllis, who has grown a whole inch since the first photo on Tuesday (click here for that photo).

The excuse for using another photo so soon is to give me more practice in inserting photos, this time a narrow one that I can wrap the copy around.

I could legitimately add a couple more tags to reflect Bud’s cameo appearance, but I think I’ll confine it to just “amaryllis.”

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Blogging Tips, Indoor Gardening and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Categories + Tags ≠ 10

  1. timethief says:

    Thanks so much for finding enough value in my post to backlink to it. I really appreciate you “spreading the word”. Search engines are aimed at providing the most relevant results when we use them and spamdexing is not only an annoyance but a major inconvenience and costly drain on resources, which Google also is aware of.

    If your blog is new and you are learning how to blog, that’s one thing. But if the blog is established and the blogger has a habit of attaching multitudes of irrelevant tags to them to game the search engines from increased traffic, then Google gets bad actor reports and acts on them.

    In addition Google will penalize those who are creating blogs with duplicate content for the same reason. Those behaviors pollute and dilute the relevance of search results.

    Best wishes with your blogging, and your gardening too!


    • Anne Bingham says:

      TimeThief, does “blogs with duplicate content” also refer to cross-posting on several platforms, such as LiveJournal and Blogger? Several YA writers seem to do that; I was considering it myself.

      My apologies if you’ve already posted about this; it just occurred to me and I don’t have time this evening to do a search.


  2. MaryWitzl says:

    Uh oh — I have zillions of tags on my posts! I’ve been spamdexing — and I didn’t even know it!

    I mainly use my tags for humorous effect — ‘teacher angst’ and ‘shameless bragging’. Does that count?


  3. MaryWitzl says:

    I’ll be leaving the tags off from now on… (blush) I wish there were classes about how to do all of this.


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