To Prevent Tags and Categories be Keyword Cannibalization

Is it okay to use Tags for Posts in WordPress? Or does it create a cannibalization issue?
4 👍🏽415 💬🗨


Tags can be priceless, useless or harmful. It all depends on why and how you use them, so the answer to this question cannot be given.
Imagine a car manual. If you want to change a headlamp, would you rather search through the table of contents, or quickly referencing the index at the back?
Those back there are tags. If the content is properly tagged, the User Experience (UX) is a lot better.
On the web, tags are much more than just referencing words: they are real pages. If you treat them as true landing pages, they can bring a lot to the SEO table.
The more dynamic the content is, the more useful tags are. News portals benefit the most. For example, if "Politics" is the category, then "US elections" is a perfect tag.
You can check out my full article about taxonomies if you wish:
Category and Tag Strategies in WordPress

Sara ✍️ » Mišo
My main concern of using tags for Money or info articles for my Amazon affiliate website. Is it useful or harmful for my affiliate articles?
Mišo » Sara
I can't answer that for you.
Again, it depends on how you use tags. On many websites they are useless junk. But that's mostly due to the way they are treated.
Sara ✍️ » Mišo
For example, my keyword is "Best Smartphone for Men". Can I use tags like "smartphone", "men" for that article?
Mišo » Sara
I can't answer that for you because tags are not just keywords. They are archive pages. I gave you the link to the in-depth article about them. If you just see them as "smartphone" and "men" keywords then all that may be just noise and spam.
If you use tag archive pages in a meaningful and usable way, then they can increase the usability of the website. They can also act as organic landing pages which definitely improves the organic traffic.
Tags can also be part of filtering system and navigation. It is all about what you do with them.

Tags, in general are what which we use to differentiate between multiple things, such as Info content and Best review, like in your case.
If you will create those two tags and optimize it generally without affecting other pages such as cannibalization then they are fine to be used.
I would say it would be better to avoid this mess!

Sara ✍️ » Ajmal
For example, my keyword is "Best Smartphone for Men". Can I use tags like "smartphone", "men" for that article?
Ajmal » Sara
You can use and there are high chances of cannibalization! So better to avoid that. And why do you want to create those tags? Rank them? Better user experience?

By default WP will create tag pages for every tag you create. These are usually considered thin content, which isn't great. But you can easily noindex the tag pages. If you're using an SEO plugin check to see if they have a setting for it that you can turn on or off.
Before I tag something, I think "How would I look for this article in the future via tags?". "How would someone that doesn't know about a topic that is general, find out about it?"
So for example, my article is titled "All about Responsive Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)" and it has a section about "media queries". I will use the tag "media queries".
The reason is so that if I want to search about it in the future, and all I remember is the term "media queries" but not the term "responsive CSS", it will guide me to the appropriate article.
So it can be used as a UX signal, at least that's what I think.


Truslow 🎓
I tend to think of them like this… categories are your primary way of organizing things – be it blog posts, products, or whatever. Tags are a way to show common elements within things that might cross category boundaries.
So… for example if you have a recipe site – your categories might be "Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Desserts."
Now… you might also want to use tags to incorporate main ingredients. Let's say you have Chicken Waffles (a breakfast item) and a "Chicken Sandwich" as a lunch item, and then Chicken Cordon Bleu as a dinner item. They would each be in a different category, but have a "Chicken" tag. This way… if I've got some chicken in my fridge and I want to know what to do with it – I can browse recipes by "Chicken" and see everything regardless of what meal the recipe is intended to be served at.
If you've only got 1 smartphone article, there is no point in creating a tag for "smartphones". If you've got 20 smartphone articles but not much else, there is no point in creating a "smartphones" tag. If you've got hundreds of articles and 20 of them are about smartphones, then the tag will be useful.
As far as "cannibalization" goes, you need to define what you mean by that. Tags don't harm articles – not in terms of how search engines evaluate and rank the articles.
Too much duplicative content on a site can make it challenging for the algorithms to pick the best content to show in queries. Tags and categories and author archives – because of all the articles that link to them – can accrue much more PageRank than individual articles, and they can become highly relevant to some queries. That's not a bad thing by any means – but it's something you should be aware of and account for.
You do NOT want to add "noindex" to author, category, or tag archives to prevent them from competing with your individual articles for queries. You'll choke off the flow of internal PageRank throughout your site – and THAT does harm the ability of articles to rank in queries (or even be indexed).
If you decide to noindex an archive, do so either because you're no longer populating it with a lot of content or because you've decided to use alternative internal linking structures on your site.
Some people mistakenly believe that XML sitemap files compensate for noindexing the archives. They don't. PageRank doesn't flow through XML sitemap files.
So it's good that you're thinking about the consequences of using tags, and asking questions, but the most important question you should be asking is "how much value will [a given tag] add for any visitor who is interested in this topic?"
I think you'll get the best answer by considering that question first.

Sara ✍️ » Micha
Thanks a lot.


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