A Common SEO Mistake

We all make mistakes. But there is one common SEO oversight you can fix fast.

It’s not uncommon for marketers to believe adding more tags is good for SEO. But all this extra tagging causes big issues since it doesn’t do anything but confuse Google.

Here’s why: every tag has its own URL which allows Google to place your content into relevant categories. For example, here is our graphic design tag.

If you tag articles with ones you haven’t used before, Google will pick up on these URLs and have a harder time identifying the association. This will eventually hurt your SEO rankings. Also, if you use similar tags on one piece of content, you’ll end up with duplicate URLs breaking apart a common category.

For example, if you’re blogging about “candy”, you’re better off just tagging it “candy” instead of listing out all the brands you could mention. Chances are you’re not going to have a significant amount of articles related to “kit kat” to justify the focus.

WRONG

how to tag content

RIGHT

TaggingTheRightWay

How to Fix It: Simplify Your Tags

Our suggestion is to make a list of the most common tags and stick with them. If you’re using WordPress for your CMS, it allows you to look up your most common tags. You can even go back into your previous posts and trim them to best meet your new streamlined tagging plan.

Best of all, this approach is great for readers too. Instead of having to sort through a mess of random tags to fit content, they can more easily view your focused areas of expertise.

What’s your best SEO tip?

About the Author: Shannon Callarman is the Inbound Marketing Manager at Cubicle Ninjas. She’s the tiny ninja behind the CN Twitter. You can also follow her on Google+.

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10 Comments

  • Beth says:

    Great tip! It’s nice to know that simplifying tags can be the best way to boost your rankings.

  • Nathan says:

    The simple truth is to not tag your posts. There’s no need and it can create duplicate content issues so it’s best to avoid them completely.

    • Shannon Callarman says:

      Hey Nathan. I think it’s better to avoid tags than to overuse them. So yes, the simple truth is – keep it simple or don’t tag at all.

  • Ytka says:

    I don’t know… I have a client that does her own blog and she throws one particular keyword tag into every post. Her blog ranks page 1 without any backlinking for that keyword without any backlinking… just a thought

  • Valerie says:

    Wow, this is good news – I am always wondering how many tags to do – and trying to find the best ones. I will just stick to a few. Thanks for the advice.

    • Shannon Callarman says:

      Hey Valerie! Happy to help. I would make a list of no more than 20 or 25 tags. This will help keep you on track and it won’t confuse Google. Have a great week! – Shannon

  • Scott says:

    Just went in and cleaned up the tags in my blog posts, thanks for the advice!

  • Jennifer Quinn says:

    Another excellent article! No matter how much I tell some clients this they just won’t listen. If a little bit of tagging is good, then a whole lot must be better! Ha!

    • Shannon Callarman says:

      It’s not very nice to confuse Google. If there’s one thing you can do to help Google search through insignificant content, it’s tagging the right way 🙂

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