Should I use WordPress tags?


I remember “tag clouds” were very popular a few years back. But right now, they don’t serve any organization or for SEO purposes.

Using tags might hurt both…


Using them will add “thin content” archive pages for each tag you have

We are talking pages with no substance or content. Just a bunch of links to posts.

These are the pages that:

  • Search engines don’t rank
  • Might result in creating duplicate content

It’s even worse if you show the tag cloud on your pages. Search engines will consider it as keyword stuffing.

Tag Cloud
Tag Cloud

Using them might confuse or deviate the attention of the user

One common mistake when organizing content on pages is adding a tag cloud at the end of each post.

Visitors will be tempted to click and check what might be sitting there. But they will be disappointed with the content.

This will result in them either leaving the website altogether or returning to wherever they were initially.

It’s better to leave the content discovery using a healthy and more intuitive flow:

  • Categories as the primary organizational unit
  • Internal linking (good for SEO)
  • Related posts

I still think I need tags, though…

I never stepped into a use case where tags would be of any value.

It’s adding another organizational layer to posts’ categories.

You’ll get better value by rethinking your categories’ structure.

I extensively use taxonomies in other scenarios, though. But never duplicate the same function that categories do. Which will ultimately be the case if you use tags and categories.

If you still think you need them, well, do what you have to do :)

What to do with the tags taxonomy?

I usually go for disabling it by disabling the tags taxonomy by default.

It can be done using the following one-line code snippet on your functions.php:

add_action('init', function() { unregister_taxonomy_for_object_type('post_tag', 'post'); });

Something is unclear? Or need further explanation? Hit the chat icon on the right bottom side of the page, and let’s see how I can unriddle this specific matter ;)