Long, long ago, on a galaxy far, far away, in a time before The Empire, we had web directories. You would submit your website to the directory and along with the URL, you would provide a list of words or phrases that described what your website was about. When someone searched the directory and entered your matching keyword, the directory would serve up your site’s url. In a way, life was good then. Those primitive tools based their results not upon what some algorithm thought was important about your web page using keyword density and voodoo; they based their results upon what a real human being said the site was important about the site.
Technorati tags give us this same humanized approach today. When you configure your ‘Compose Post’ page to display the Technorati Tags field, it gives you the change to tell Google and other search engines what your blog post is about. Google recognizes that you, a genuine intelligent human being, are far better at determining what a blog post is about than Google can, even though Google’s brain is reportedly the size of a small planet.
If your post is about widgets, it will rank much more highly for the search term ‘widgets’ with a Technorati tag ‘widgets’ than it will without. Much more highly.
Do you want an example? Ok, I’ll give you one. My house is presently for sale and to prove I could do it, I created a blog that is essentially a brochure about my house. I tagged every post in that blog “85302 real estate”. After two weeks of posting twice a day, that blog was number one for the search term “85302 real estate”. (CAVEAT: Don’t interpret this as my recommendation that you try to sell houses this way. I did this only to demonstrate the power of Technorati Tags and a blog’s Google Juice.)
The lesson learned from this is that Technorati Tags and frequent postings can be combined into a powerful tool for boosting your search engine rankings.
I recommend that you decide upon a small number of themes. These should topics that you write about frequently. You may write about many topics, but your themes are the topics you always return to. From your readers’ perspective your themes are your blog is about.
Then create a tag for each of those themes. The tag can be a single work or a phrase. Each time you write a blog post on one of your themes, tag it. You can include multiple tags by separating them with commas.
Be consistent in your use of theme tags. Always use the same word or phrase. Over time then, Google will see a large body of work tagged with the same search term and as a result your blog will rank higher in Google.
“What about Categories?”, you ask. For all intents and purposes, Technorati Tags and Categories perform the same function. My recommendation is to pursue the following methodology:
- Your Categories should be broad and less specific that your Technorati Tags.
- Your theme-related Technorati Tags should provide the next level of specificity.
- Include one or more additional tags or keywords in a posts Technorati Tag field that are very specific to that particular post.
One final caveat: Google is much less interested in Technorati tags that do not appear somewhere on the page. If you use a term or phrase as a Technorati Tag make sure that same term or phrase appears elsewhere too, even if it is in the sidebar.
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