Should I use WordPress tags?

Nope.

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

Actually, using tags might hurt both…

Why?

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.

This the kind of pages that:

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

It's even worse if you are showing the tag cloud somewhere on your pages. Search engines will consider it as keywords stuffing.

Using them might confuse or deviate the attention of the user

Especially if you list them at the end of your posts or use the actual tag clouds.

Content on tag archive pages can be overwhelming, especially for busy websites.

It's better to leave the content discovery using a healthy a more logical flow:

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

I still think I need tags though...

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

It's basically adding another organizational layer to posts' categories.

You'll get better value by re-thinking your categories' structure.

I extensively use taxonomies on other scenarios though. But never to duplicate the same function that a native or a custom taxonomy does. Which will be ultimately the case if you use tags and categories.

If you still think you need them, well, do what you gotta do

What to do with the tags taxonomy?

Is strongly recommend disabling the tags taxonomy.

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

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

Or by using GUI interfaces like Toolset, which allows you to control (and deactivate) default taxonomies.

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