what is a tag cloud? How to make, merits and demerits!

tag cloud

What is a tag cloud it refers to the tags attached as metadata to each web page that are visually described in text data and displayed all at once.
If you use this tag cloud well, you can expect good SEO effects.

On the other hand, if you use the tag cloud incorrectly, it may be difficult for Google to evaluate you.
Specifically, you may get penalized for stuffing your site with keywords, or it may not be crawled if you create it in Flash.
It can also lead to poor quality and poor management of generated tag pages.
This can lead to lower search rankings and less indexing in search results.

To avoid these bad situations, understand the basics of tag clouds to generate valid links and content.

Based on this point, this time, I would like to explain the points that are easy to understand for beginners, focusing on the meaning of tag clouds, how to create them, and their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a tag cloud?

What is a tag cloud It refers to the tags attached as metadata to each web page that are visually described in text data and displayed all at once.

For example, let’s say you have a post about meta descriptions on an SEO blog built with WordPress.
Since this post is about SEO “internal measures”, create a tag called “internal measures” and tag it.
Also, if the post is about backlinks, create a tag called “external measures” and tag it.
In order to display these tags with links, write a dedicated code in the side column template and save it.
That way, when viewed in a browser, the contents of the created tag will be displayed all at once.

Read Also: What is a 301 redirect? Brief Explanation

How to create a tag cloud

I will show you how to create a tag cloud.

  • Use dedicated features, code, or tools
  • Adjust design with CSS

Use dedicated features, code, or tools

To create a tag cloud, First, we use dedicated functions, code, and tools.

For example, if the site is built using WordPress, after logging in to WordPress, click “Widgets” from “Appearance” in the menu.
Then, after clicking “+” in the center of the displayed screen, select “Tag cloud” of the widget from “Show all”.
On the other hand, if the site building is other than WordPress, we will utilize the tag cloud creation tool, the tag generation library for PHP, and the jQuery plugin (JavaScript).
Any of these can create a tag cloud.

Thus, using dedicated functions, code and tools are how to create a tag cloud.

Adjust design with CSS

To create a tag cloud, Then adjust the design with CSS.

For example, tag clouds generated by dedicated functions, codes, tools, etc. are just text links (anchor text).
From this state, use CSS to adjust the design such as character color, font, character size, and horizontal and vertical alignment.
That way, you can create a tag cloud that is sharper, easier to see, and easier for users to understand.

In this way, adjusting the design with CSS for the generated tag cloud is how to create a tag cloud.

Advantages of setting up a tag cloud

There are several benefits of setting up a tag cloud.

  • Encourage user migration
  • Improves crawlability

Encourage user migration

The advantages of setting up a tag cloud are: It is to encourage users to move around.

For example, a user who reads a blog post about the basics of SEO recognizes the importance of internal and external measures, content creation, and page experience optimization and wants to learn about them as well.
At this time, if a tag cloud containing keywords such as internal measures, external measures, content creation, and page experience measures is installed in the side column, the possibility of users clicking will increase.
In other words, it encourages users to move around.
As a result, the site will be more likely to be evaluated by Google because it will lead to more knowledge and improved user satisfaction.

In this way, it is an advantageous of setting up a tag cloud to encourage users to move around.

Leads to improved crawlability

The advantages of setting up a tag cloud are: It will lead to improved crawl ability.

For example, if you regularly update new articles on a blog site, past articles will be pushed down from the 2nd page ⇒ 3rd page ⇒ 4th page of the list page.
This past article has a deep link hierarchy and becomes difficult to crawl.
At this time, tag all articles including past articles, and set up a tag cloud in the side column that can be displayed on all pages.
Then the crawler will be able to easily find and recognize the past articles from the tag list page which can be accessed by crawling the link of the tag cloud.
In other words, the link hierarchy becomes shallower, which leads to improved crawl ability.

In this way, the advantage of setting up a tag cloud is that it leads to improved crawl ability.

Disadvantages of setting up a tag cloud

There are some disadvantages to setting up a tag cloud.

  • Tagging takes time
  • It takes time to control the tag list page

Tagging takes time

Disadvantages of setting up a tag cloud are: Tagging is time-consuming.

For example, think of a tag name to attach to an article created in WordPress with the theme of “how to optimize internal links” and tag it.
Also, if there is a tag attached to the article on the theme of “How to increase backlinks” among existing tags, tag it with that tag.
If it is not in the existing tags, think of a new tag name and tag it.
I do this every time I write an article.
In other words, it takes time to tag.

In this way, the disadvantage of setting up a tag cloud is that tagging takes time.

It takes time to control the tag list page

Disadvantages of setting up a tag cloud are: It takes a lot of effort to control the tag list page.

For example, tagged words (keywords) can be displayed as a tag cloud, such as in a side column.
If you click the anchor text of the displayed tag cloud or r, the tag list page will be displayed.
The displayed tag list page is especially likely to overlap with countermeasure keywords on the pillar page.
Specifically, if the name of the tag is “SEO”, the title name of the tag list page will also be “SEO”, so if the keyword for the pillar page is a single word with a big keyword such as “SEO”, it will be duplicated. It’s easy.
To avoid this risk of duplication, set a no-index on the tag list page.

Also, more specific tagging means more specific tag listing pages.
If pagination is implemented on the tag page, basically there are few users who see the second and subsequent pages of the tag list page.
In this case, no-index is set for the second and subsequent pages of the tag list page, as it does not help improve the user experience.

In other words, it takes time to control the tag list page.

In this way, the disadvantage of setting up a tag cloud is that it takes time to control the tag list page.

By the way, when setting no-index on the tag list page, do not set no-follow at the same time.
If no-follow is set, the crawler will not follow the link, so the crawl ability of the tag list page will be worse.

Things to avoid when creating a tag cloud

There are a few things you want to avoid when building your tag cloud.

  • Too many tags
  • index the tag page

Too many tags

Things you want to avoid when creating a tag cloud are Too many tags.

For example, add more words to tags such as “SEO”, “Search Engine Optimization”, and “Search Engine Optimization”.
Also carelessly increase the words of the tag.
In other words, too many tags.
In this case, the number of tag words with the same or similar meanings increases even if the character strings are different, and the number of tags increases, which increases the possibility that appropriate tagging that matches the content of the post will not be possible.
If that happens, there will be more tag pages with the same content lined up with the same posts, and more tag pages with only one post.
It will be unpleasant for users to see these tag pages.
As a result, the user’s convenience will decrease, so it will be difficult to be evaluated by Google.

As such, having too many tags is something you want to avoid when building your tag cloud.

index the tag page

Things you want to avoid when creating a tag cloud are indexing tag pages.

For example, tag it with the same keyword as the countermeasure keyword on the pillar page.
Specifically, let’s say that the target keyword is “piano” and the pillar page with “piano” in the title name of the pillar page is already indexed. In this state, let’s say that you tagged with the word “piano” and indexed the tag list page that includes the word “piano” in the title name.
In other words, index the tag page.
In this case, the title name of the pillar page and the title name of the tag list page will contain the word “piano”, which increases the likelihood that Google will recognize it as a duplicate.
If that happens, the evaluation will be distributed and the possibility that the pillar page will be difficult to evaluate increases.
As a result, it will be difficult to rank for the countermeasure keyword “piano”.

Also, assume that you have implemented pagination and are indexing the tag list pages from the second page onwards.
In other words, index the tag page.
In this case, basically, there are few users who see the tag list page from the second page onwards.
If that happens, it will be difficult for Google to evaluate the tag list page from the second page onwards, as it will not help improve the user experience.

Indexing tag pages like this is something you want to avoid when creating a tag cloud.

Understand the basics of tag clouds, Build effective links and content.

On the other hand, if you don’t understand the basics of tag clouds, you’re more likely to mishandle them.
Specifically, there is a high possibility of creating tags with words packed with keywords, carelessly tagging, or tagging with words that have the same meaning, thus increasing the number of tags unnecessarily.
If that happens, you will receive a penalty from Google, and the quality of the generated tag page (tag list page) will deteriorate and lead to careless management.
As a result, it will be difficult to improve your search ranking.

To avoid these bad situations, understand the basics of tag clouds and build effective links and content.