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    Wednesday, 11 December 2013

    With or Without a Tag?

    The impact of tag-pages for a website is huge, even if some webmasters are not aware about the existence of those pages. Briefly, a tag page is a generated page that groups all the information from that website in a single keyword or expression.




    Is it a good idea not to have tags on the website?

    Unfortunately, it is really hard to answer to this question, as it is like trying to understand the Google algorithms. A tag is important for search engines to classify a website in a certain category, but it seems like some tag pages are not that Google friendly, for some unknown reasons. One way or the other, optimizing tags is an important part of on-page SEO.

    The position of Google about this is clear: “Use robots.txt to prevent Google from finding pages that are automatically generated, which don’t bring value to your website. There are cases in which you might tell me that tags are good, and I incline to say that you are right. There are cases in which tags help a lot to find information on the website, without ulterior accessing. However, there are also cases in which tag-pages rank a lot better than the main page of a website. For example, if I am searching Google for “Red Ferrari”, and my first result is something connected with “Red Cars”, I will not be so happy about my result”, said a Google official.

    There are three possible approaches towards tags on your website

    Leave them as they are - If you have traffic on tag pages and if there were no anterior penalizations, it means that your structure is good. If you are happy with the bounce rate also, and with the time spent by visitors on the website, than maybe it is better to leave things as they are.

    Remove them – it is good to have as many tags as possible, but if there is no generated traffic with this method, you can consider removing those.

    Use “nofollow” – the nofollow, noindex and noarchive attributes are useful for Google robots to understand what the webmaster wants. No-follow tells Google not to “support” some pages that are not of interest for users. Noindex removes the pages from Google completely, so they would be found by users with direct clicks from other pages on your website, but they will not appear in Google searches, while noarchive is the extreme version of noindex, as those pages would not even appear in the cache version of the website.

    The advantage of using those last methods is that you can remove the unwanted effect of tags, but you will still get traffic from those links. The nofollow attribute has to be used with a precise purpose. Noindex and noarchive are also good for visitors, but they will still not solve the problem of diluting the popularity of the website. There is also the possibility to transform the tag pages in a category, which means that it will receive a higher traffic.

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