Affilitate Tips Site is one of the many abusers and misusers of tags I’ve found. Among the “tags” listed at the very top of the article are:
Tag(s);2007, adsense, american idol, bebo, blog, blogger, blogging, blogging kit, blogging kits, britney spears, bush, current events, digg, foto, galilea montijo, hd dvd, ieia, igoogle, in the news, joost, mark driscoll, me, mix07, mp3, myspace, open source, penis, random thoughts, silverlight, skin care, tags, tecnologia, ubuntu, vista, war, web 20, weight loss, windows, wordpress, xbox 360, youtube
Within the article, I could find no mention of NOT ONE of these words. Not one. And the articles have nothing to do with any of these subjects, though blog, blogging, and a couple of blog and advertising related words might – they aren’t reflective of the blog’s content at all.
Don’t you think there is something wrong with this?
In Abuse: Keyword Spamming versus Tag Spamming, I wrote of the abuse and misuse of hidden keywords from the early days of the web and how this same abuse could easily be done with tags.
Does just the addition of the rel=”tag” change the meaning of this potential blatant attempt at increasing keyword coverage for search engines? Do search engines spot the relationship attribute and ignore them as search engine spam? Or not? And if not, can your site be punished for this in some way?
…In other words, trust and self policing. The tag services and social bookmarking services are relying upon you, the user, to add tags that “make sense”, relate to the content, help the visitor, and don’t abuse the system. They also work hard to promote the myth that in order to be effective, the tags must link back to their services. Eventually, like everything else, there may be rules, but right now, it’s a free-for-all when it comes to tags.
We know it’s being abused. Everything gets abused. What worries me is what kind of kick back that abuse will take.
This is abuse. So what are the repercussions?
As far I can tell, this blog creates original content and doesn’t scrap or splog. It is doing nothing more than using an age old SEO black-hat technique called keyword spamming, something that would have penalized it in the “old days”, but does it if the keyword spamming is disguised as tags? The tags link to Technorati, not to the abuser’s blog, so Technorati wins from all those tag links, right? What does the blog lose?
Does the blog win because of the blatant use of keywords in links, or does it lose because the links have no relevancy to the content?
What do you think? Tags are self-policing, self-describing choices. You choose what tags to use on your blog. You can link them to Technorati, your blog, Wikipedia, or anywhere you choose and they are still “tags”. It’s totally up to you to choose which words you use as tags and in which combination.
Tags are meant to increase your blog’s navigation as well as provide links to related content on your site and off. They were designed as a micro-categorization technique for blog content. And their best use is when the words within the tag link matches the content of the post and blog.
But how are these scams and search engine gaming techniques penalized when tags are abused? Are they? By Technorati, king of tags? Or Google? Do you think they should be?
What do you think about this misuse and abuse of tags?
- Tags and Tagging in WordPress and Everywhere
- 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
- Categories versus Tags: Defining the Limitations
- 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
- Link Referrals – Linking to Site Search Tags
- Abuse: Keyword Spamming versus Tag Spamming
- One Year Anniversary Review: Tags, Tagging, and Categories
- One Year Anniversary Review: Keywords
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