// Internet Duct Tape

Understanding Tagging Folksonomy – How it Relates to Improving PageRank

Posted in Becoming a Better Blogger, Technology by engtech on July 23, 2006

I remember a time (pre-Netscape 0.9b) before search engines had really taken off, when web directories and websites such as Cool Site of the Day were the only way you heard about things. Times have changed, and search engines such as Google have become such a large source of incoming links.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the act of structuring your content in such a way that that people who are looking for the information you have can easily find it, and increasing your position in search results. Typically, SEO is associated with underhanded spammers who are trying to make money either through advertisements (see click-fraud) or through selling snake oil of dubious quality. But there are benefits for any web site to try and organize their information in such a way that your audience can find you.

Social bookmarking is all the rage with new “Web 2.0” companies springing up by the minute. When a site becomes popular via social bookmarking/ranking there is a burst of one-time traffic followed by a trickle effect of small sites creating incoming links as people bookmark/blog about you. It can be useful for generating quick interest, but these visitors do not usually return. Search engine optimization to increase the number of visitors via organic search is much more useful for generating a constant flow of traffic.

One of the combinations of web search and social web 2.0 tagging is folksonomy. Using common/popular tags to reference your web content is a key way to generate semantic relevance for a page and increase the chance that your audience can find you. In laymans terms: use popular high ranking tags and use a lot of them. But keep it relevant, there is no point trying to attract people who are searching for “Brittney Spears” and bringing them to a page discussing the effect of oil prices on land-based amphibians.

Follow-up Links

In Practice – TagPatterns

TagPatterns is a website that samples the tags from 10 popular social bookmarking sites and tracks the relations between them and second level tags. Theoretically it lets you enter any term and it will return the results for that term in it’s database, but when I tried to use that feature I got a 404 error.

>> http://www.tagpatterns.com/

In Practice – NicheBot

There is a SEO tool called NicheBot that giving a keyword/tag it will return a list of alternatives that may give better placement in search results.

>> http://nichebot.com/

Nichebot is rather neat in that you can enter a search term and it will tell you what rank you are on Google. For instance, I’m result #27 when searching for “Seven Habits for Highly Effective People”.

In Practice – PR Check

There is an SEO tool where you can submit a page and it will show you the Google PageRank for each of the links.

>> http://www.seologs.com/pr-check/fullpage-pr.html

I see two main uses to this:

  1. By pointing it or something like it at social tagging tag list pages you can get a quick run down of which tags are most used (and then further crop that list for tags that are relevant to you).
  2. Create a list of all your tags (ie: by using the SEO PageRank tool on a page with the category widget installed), find the ones with low PageRank and then replace them with similiar words with higher ranking.

Sources for tag ideas:

Related Links:

Semi-related Links:

Digg | Del.icio.us | BlinkList | Furl

Spurl | Reddit | Simpy | RawSugar

13 Responses

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  1. […] Each project can be tagged with various categories by the project adminstrator. Note that tagging will end up being pretty arbitrary unless there are some kind of moderators going around and cleaning it up to achieve a common folksonomy. Users can enter any labels they choose, although some are banned (like “google“). […]

  2. […] Each project can be tagged with various categories by the project adminstrator. Note that tagging will end up being pretty arbitrary unless there are some kind of moderators going around and cleaning it up to achieve a common folksonomy. Users can enter any labels they choose, although some are banned (like “google“). […]

  3. […] Tagging is an essential way to add semantic information to help people find similar posts. They aren’t the same as categories, although you can use the same tools to do both. Each post should have multiple tags. Tagging is like putting a Post-It note on your favorite socks to remind you that they have pictures of Superman, so that you’d be able to find them if you couldn’t see the sock but you could still see the Post-It. That’s a really bad analogy. […]

  4. […] Understanding Tagging Folksonomy – How it Relates to Improving PageRank […]

  5. […] This one talks about tagging, semantics, and folksonomy. It’s on the dry side but I think the overall message is sound: when tagging use popular high ranking tags and use a lot of them. […]

  6. […] This one talks about tagging, semantics, and folksonomy. It’s on the dry side but I think the overall message is sound: when tagging use popular high ranking tags and use a lot of them. […]

  7. […] Tagging folksonomy… wtf? […]

  8. Milan P said, on August 07, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I think the key is not to do a over kill on the tags because if you add too many you may not get found as quick. Lets say if i had 5 tags and another poster had 3 tags he would get the hit before me and this is true because we tested the tags on 2.0 and done the same search.
    Kind Regards
    Milan

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