When Blogging Should You Use A Tag Cloud?

I have read many articles online since I have started blogging on whether or not it is worth consuming prime blog real estate by putting a tag cloud on your homepage. There are so many tag cloud choices, you can choose a static tag cloud, or ones that are animated and rotate like drums, spheres or just about any shape you can imagine.

If you decide to use a tag cloud I think the most effective ones are the tag clouds that show “emphasis” to tags based on usage, they do this by making the font larger for your more common tags. So if you blogged about SEO and used that tag often, SEO would stand out much stronger and larger than the rest of the tags in the tag cloud.

tagsThe most common benefit to tag clouds is to show readers what you write about, by showing a tag cloud they can get a quick visual of your most common themes and topics and this could determine whether the reader will want to come back to your blog, or whether the topic that brought them there is a rarity and the majority of the blog doesn’t have content of strong interest.

Personally, I would rather display categories on my blog for readers than using a specific tag cloud. I have found that for the most part, only other bloggers or people involved with SEO really care about a tag cloud at all. If you add an animated tag cloud, you can also increase the pageload time of your site for a very marginal benefit at best.

When I choose to implement new widgets, features or functions that take up space on my blog homepage, I generally try to find something that has some measurable means to quantify its continued use or abandonment. A tag cloud I used to have on my blog for several months, and instead I relegated it to a tab that someone can click on if they choose, but it won’t be immediately noticeable unless someone clicks on my “Tags” tab on my home page.

What are your thoughts about using a Tag Cloud, do you think it is worth carving up some area of your home page? Or left being relegated to a hidden tab or page inside your blog?

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Hello Justin :) :)
Currently i am searching for some nice SEO tag widget which would display tags related to the page opened in the blog .
Using 3d look in Tag cloud gives an force of attraction to the bloggers as well as newbies to use them and click on the tags :) :)
What do you think about this ?? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
.-= Sunil Jain@gupshup ´s last blog ..5 Things to know before creating a blog =-.

Great post Justin. I really like some of the nice visual tag clouds that are out there, but just like you mention in your post the nicer they are the longer they are going to take to load. I know that even from a “surfer” perspective I’ve never clicked on a tag cloud, as a matter of fact the only tag cloud I might have ever clicked on is the one I had here.

@Extreme John, lol, I think I’ve done that too … I had the wp-cumulus plugin that made it a flash thing, where the tags just spin around … I’m quite sure nobody who visited my blog at that time got nearly as much enjoyment out of my tags as I did πŸ˜€
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Todd Shares The Good Stuff – 12/11/09 =-.

I have seen some really nice tag clouds based on Ajax, Javascript and various other scripts. In all cases they tend to increase pageload times by at least 1 second or more. Remember everytime tag cloud loads it has to query your wordpress database to pull and index the tags, the more tags in the DB, the longer the query. So a tag cloud for a blog with 200 posts and 50 tags will be much faster than a blog with 10,000 posts and 15,000 tags which would probably be much slower to load.

There is a reason you don’t see tag clouds on mashable.com, also I have seen tag clouds on bloggers blogs where Uncategorized is the largest tag, which is kind of silly.
.-= dragonblogger´s last blog ..Dragon Blogger Review of The Answer Man =-.

πŸ˜‰ nice job
I like ur post here !
.-= kwkbh´s last blog ..?????? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????? ???????? =-.

I use a tag cloud and agree that bloggers should use them. But stay away from the animated clouds since the SEO benefit is much less then with a static cloud.
.-= John Paul Aguiar´s last blog ..Happy Holidays and My Personal Thank You =-.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the tag cloud, I added it to my newest site to take up some real estate in my sidebar while I build up readership (don’t have any advertisers yet) but ultimately mine will go away for ads as my site grows.
.-= Keith´s last blog ..17 Must Have WordPress Plugins =-.

I removed tag cloud from sidebar a week back. I hope it wont effect my ranking. It was occupying too much space.
.-= Free Vector Graphics´s last blog ..Vector Paper Flips =-.

Amazon has a Tag cloud for the products. It supposed to change accordingly to the keywords i used in blogging.
I placed it on my blogs for a week or so, then removed it. The loading speed slowed down considerably during that period.
I find no practical use for whatever tag cloud.
.-= scheng1´s last blog ..Tips for saving money in a recession =-.

I have a tag cloud on the sidebar of my site, I thought it would get lots of clicks but google analytics said it wasn’t doing much for me, so I moved it down to the footer. I’m keeping it though because I like that the tags get more from being linked from the front page.
.-= Mike from Daily Shot Of Coffee´s last blog ..Fresh Brews: Stabbed Man Orders Coffee And Retro Coffee Ads =-.

Just ugly if you’re interested in my opinion. I’d also like someone to show me SEO proof of clouds…no one has yet.
.-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..Again – Pick My New Domain Names With A chance To Win $10! =-.

I have 2k+ tags now. Not going to show it at homepage. Categories will do the trick. πŸ˜‰
.-= Jayce´s last blog ..How to hack Facebook account profile =-.

I use a tag cloud while blogging as i feel it can be a great way to help your readers find older posts easily. πŸ˜€
.-= TechChunks´s last blog ..Embedded Games like β€˜CafΓ© World’ in Social Networking sites! Good or Evil? =-.

When Blogging Should You Use A Tag Cloud?…

Should bloggers have a tag cloud on their homepage? Examining the benefits to determine if it is worth giving up some prime real estate to show a tag cloud….

i have a tag cloud at the bottom of my front page and I like it because it’s pink and swirly :)
but I don’t think it really does much as far as accessibility or ease of searching. I have multiple categories (like a ton) and a search bar so people can find what they need in the archive easiers.

This reminded me that I wanted to take down the cloud. gotta get mike on that!
.-= Stiletto Sports Jen´s last blog ..β€œWhere Will Amazing Happen this year?” NBA Playoff Ads-Top Sports Commercials 2009 #4 =-.

I’ve always wondered what those things were for. Thanks for enlightening me! πŸ˜€

I am actually using both and I do debate between using up “blog-estate” for both, but I figure until I start selling ad space I should have something there that make is easier for my reader to find my posts. πŸ˜›
.-= Ms. Freeman@Baby Steps of an Internet Entreprenuer´s last blog ..5 Entrepreneurial Goals for 2010 =-.

@Ms. Freeman@Baby Steps of an Internet Entreprenuer, I would look for other options to get posts clicked than relying on the tag clouds. Trust me, surfers just about never click them.

At first I didn’t use tags on my blog because I don’t like the way they look (still don’t actually), just a bunch of words cluttered together. But somebody told me it was good for SEO.. luckily I found the plugin sphere tag thingy and it is an improvement on the way it looks, but probably slows page load time… Is it really worth it, SEO wise? or should I just ditch the tags like you?
.-= Kaja@Kajanova´s last blog ..Ingenious Mosquito Vaporizer =-.

Good stuff here, I did not realize that tags slow down the page loads.

And yes, I was addicted to the WP Cumulus plugin, real bad!!

Was using the plugin with my baseball blog and of course I had to make the cumulus ball look like a baseball. Yes, shameful ! :)

I found this article by searching “why use cloud tags”, thanks for the helpful info. I just started to build the tag cloud on my blog today, then began to wonder “why?”. Does it help or hurt search ranking? Is it just for looks? I have categories, so isn’t that enough to find what may be looking for?

Yes, I am full of questions today and in search for the answers.

Thanks again,

may the tag clouds it self not clicked by visitor. however, it may attract them :roll:

According to my experience tag clouds will be good for seo because they help you increase your bouncing rate and help the visitor to provide more information.Most people like to use categories instead of tag clouds.

Thanks for this article.

We recently added a tag cloud on our blog.

Although I understand that they could POSSIBLY work for user navigational purposes, do they actually enhance SEO?

We shall analyse if there is a bump after a month or so…

I’ve always thought tag clouds are ugly and unreadable. Besides, if you keyword spam, you run the risk of being banned by search engines. We have decided to use a relatively small list of general categories that will have more load more via AJAX (if the user clicks the “more categories” link). Even that will only be necessary when our site has over 5000 posts. This article confirms what we were already thinking about tag clouds.

how do tag clouds effect seo

Amazon has a Tag cloud for the products. It supposed to change accordingly to the keywords i used in blogging.
I placed it on my blogs for a week or so, then removed it. The loading speed slowed down considerably during that period.
I find no practical use for whatever tag cloud.

I drop a leave a response when I like a post on a blog or I have something to add
to the discussion. Usually it’s triggered by the sincerness displayed in the article I read. And on this article When Blogging Should You Use A Tag Cloud?. I was actually excited enough to leave a thought πŸ˜‰ I actually do have a few questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it just me or does it look as if like a few of these responses look like they are coming from brain dead visitors? πŸ˜› And, if you are writing on other social sites, I would like to follow you. Could you make a list the complete urls of your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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