How Does A Tag Cloud Affect A WordPress Site’s SEO?

September 14, 2012 · 16 comments

in WordPress

How Does A Tag Cloud Affect A WordPress Site’s SEO?

Does A Tag Cloud 
Help or Hinder SEO?

Tag Clouds, those floating balls of blobs of links from various areas of the blog, are a common question asked about by WordPress bloggers. 

Some tag clouds have fancy animations and float/spin while others are little more than a glorified link-list. 

Because they are functionally clickable, we can guarantee that they factor into an SEO calculation… so let’s see what Google’s SEO pro, Matt Cutts has to say about them: 

I have been making use of a tag cloud for some time… but only after careful consideration of what Matt had to say. 

He specifically reminded us to avoid fancy animations (which is fine since almost all of them break on mobile anyways so we don’t want to be using them) and to not display too many links. 

A tag cloud, done right, is a glorified menu bar… and that reference can help you keep in mind that you shouldn’t put 100 links in one poor little menu bar!

The goal of your tag cloud is really to point your audience to tags that will interest them, thus pulling them deeper into your content.  You do this by focusing on items you have created lots of content for… rather than on trying to display all three hundred bazillion tags on your blog. 

Tags are an important piece of SEO yet that doesn’t mean we want them all showing up at once! ;)

Because Matt has repeatedly stressed that we need to focus on the reader before SEO elements, for me, a tag cloud was a logical choice as (once set up right) it makes it easier for my visitor to find what they are looking for. 

If you’re going to use a tag cloud, you need one that allows you to meet these goals. I’ll show you what I’m using in the next post, so stay tuned!

Do you use a tag cloud? Do you click on tag clouds on sites you visit? What makes a good or bad tag cloud in your opinion? 

~ Kim ~
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