I recently talked about categories and tags, what they do and which one to choose and adding Technorati tags to WordPressMU sites, like wordpress.com, and I want to share with you a recent struggle I went through on this issue.
I have spent the past five days debating about the name of a new category I wanted to add to this site. In the past, this would have been a non-issue. I would have just thought up something clever and added the category to WordPress. Now I know that categories equal tags, used by Technorati and other tagging directories as keywords to categorize your posts in their directories. If you want your posts to be found, this has to be considered. This gives my little categories a lot more weight, therefore, much more debate.
Here was the challenge. I’ve been writing about website design, layout, structure, and search engine optimization and submission standards and issues for over 10 years as one of the early writers and columnists on the web. I have a lot of great material that I want to share that is only slightly outside the scope of WordPress, but definitely WordPress related. These aren’t WordPress Tips but posts about website development. Going beyond just the core features to getting your site noticed and how to build and maintain an audience.
The goal was to come up with a title for the category that did the following:
- Featured one or more keywords on the subject.
- Featured one or more keyword tags on the subject.
- Provided instant recognizability on the category subject matter.
- Was still broad enough not to be limiting for subject matter.
Here are some ideas that came up off the top of my head:
- Website Wishing
- SEO Stuff
- Website Stuff
- Website Babble
- Website Wisdom
- Whacking the Website
- Beyond the Basics
- Website 101
- Web Page Wonders
- Web Page Wanders
- To Infinity and Beyond
Among others even more creative. Yet, in the back of my head, I knew that categories equal tags in WordPress. This gives even more importance to the categories because now they have to be a name used in keyword or tag searches. In other words, keywords already in use. This left me with:
- Website Development
- Website Tips
- Website Help
- Web Page Development
- Web Page Material
- Web Pages and Websites
- Developing Your Website
- Learning More about Websites
- SEO Optimization
- SEO Tips
- SEO Help
- Do I need to keep going with these BORING titles?
Yes, all good, but I loved Blog Babble and I wanted something that had that same kick and these were dull, boring, and educational.
Yet, I’m stuck with knowing what I know about search engine and tag searching optimization and the “need to compete” for page ranking, which you think I would have given up on a long time ago, and I couldn’t decide.
Go with the SEO optimized thinking and use dull and boring category title? Or be creative and really go off the top and call it “Wacky Web Wisdom” aka “www”?
I haven’t fretted so much over such a decision in ages. With the limitation of tagging and lack of access to the template files in WordPressMU, the inability to add keywords and such, but also knowing that WordPress is excellent at SEO features right out of the box, I was in a quandry.
I pruned it down to the fact that I needed at least one keyword in the title. It had to be SEO, website, or web. I had settled on “Website Wisdom” but I hated the sound of it. As a writer, the sound of words is just as important as what they are saying. “Website Wisdom” just laid there, flat.
My husband saw that I was waffling and muttering so he asked what was wrong. I explained the whole mess of it all. In one breath, as he so often does, he summed it up and gave me the title.
What a wonderful play on words and it still has a keyword in it to help with tags. It may do the job for now, but a little part of me will want to watch the stats to make sure it attracts enough attention, and the inner debate will continue.
Categories versus Tags – Which Way to Go and What to Choose?
So I’ve now got a clever category name, but I’m still in a quandry. Categories as tags is good work and helpful, but only when those categories represent keywords. I still believe that adding tags to assist categories with navigation is a great idea. I believe the power to link your site with others through the relationships of tags is brilliant and a huge advancement over search engine results, though still a new and often misunderstood technology.
The tags I’ve added below take advantage of both concepts. One, they offer links to other sites on Technorati that help you find information on the related topic. Consider them a form of footnote or bibliographic links. The problem with these is that they leave your site to get more information. I want people to find more information on this site.
The second set of tags are mini search result generators that will help you find more information related to the subject beyond the scope of the categories on this site, keeping users here longer, which is also a good thing.
Should you do both? Well, that’s up to you. If you are into site optimization and helping your users use your site, then using one or both is very valuable. If you are using WordPress to blog and babble, and have a limited audience, then use the built in functions and let WordPress do what it does, which is still of great value.
Lucikly, with WordPress, we have choices. If only I had more choices with categories…hmmm. ;-)
- A Tagging Bookmarklet for WordPress and wordpress.com Users
- Categories versus Tags – What’s the Difference and Which One?
- The Problems With Tags and Tagging
- The Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin
- Adding Del.icio.us, Digg, Technorati and Slashdot Links to Your WordPress Blog
- An Interesting Use of Category Tags in wordpress.com
- Putting Some Thought Into Blog Categories and Tags
- Tagging With Emotions Not Common Sense
- Tags Are Not Categories – Got It?
- What Do You Blog About? Check Your Tags
- Playing Tag With WordPress
- Top 10 Tips for Technorati Tricks
- Tidying Up Tags – A Technical Review
- The State of the Blogosphere 2006
- Lorelle on WordPress Now Part of Technorati Tools
- Link Referrals – Linking to Site Search Tags
- Abuse: Keyword Spamming versus Tag Spamming
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network