“Tags” have become something you see a lot more frequently on blogs these days.  The latest version of WordPress supports tagging, as does Blogger and other blogging platforms.  In addition to whatever native tagging support is available, there is html based Technorati tags.

What are tags?  Simply put, tags are keywords and phrases that describe the content of a web page or blog entry.  Blog search tools like Technorati, StumbleUpon, Thoof, Digg and others make use of tags in categorizing posts and making them searchable.  Each tag can be considered to be one possible path by which your content can be found.  This means that the more tags you use the better.

Of course, you shouldn’t just stuff in boatloads of tags anymore than you should stuff in tons of irrelevant keywords just because they’re popular in a search engine.  Tags, like the META Keywords on an html page, should be relevant to the content they’re describing.

A post talking about somebody like Paris Hilton getting arrested for DUI could have tags like “Paris Hilton”, “arrested” and “DUI”.  You could also include tags like “people”, “news”, “society”, “celebrity” because they would all have some connection to the actual content of the post.

A really handy tool that I’ve been using is a simple bit of javascript.  If you click on this link: Technorati Tag Generator, you will be prompted to enter tags and click ‘OK’, It will then return html code to paste into a blog entry that will display the tags.  To enter a tag with more than one word, just use a + to join the words i.e. multiple+word+tag. [note: I didn’t author this bit of javascript, but I can’t remember where I found it either.]

What’s cool about this is that Firefox users can drag that link to your “Bookmarks Toolbar” and it will create a button that you can use anytime you need it.  I’ve found it to be invaluable.  Put spaces between tags and enter as many as you like.  For example, for this entry I’m going to enter the following into the tag generator:

blogging tags technorati technorati+tags tagging tag+generator seo

It will return html code to produce the tags you see on the next line:

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Edited 2/19/08: updated tag generator code so that the tag links are nofollow because there is no reason to spend link juice on social bookmarking sites like technorati

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