Tags are a commonly questioned feature on Infobarrel forums, yet I've not seen a good explanation of Tags before on Infobarrel, so I've brought together the results of my experimentation, what I've read here, and general internet marketing knowledge to create this guide to Tags on Infobarrel.

Where to Add and Change Tags

1.  Tags can be added in a Tag box above the text box when you create an article.

2. You are limited to 5 Tags, each one on a separate line.

3.  You are not required to add 5 (or any) Tags and 5 Tags might be too many for your article.

4. Tags can be one or more words

5.  You can change your Tags anytime you want and as many times as you want by editing within the article and saving.  The effects are instantly visable.

What Tags Do - Browse Related Topics

At Infobarrel, the Tags primary purpose is to control the Browse Related Topics box contents. Place "Toys" in the tag box of a Playfoam article and you will get a link to the a page listing all the articles tagged with "Toys". Substitute University Graduation as the only Tag on the same Playfoam article and you will see a link to all University Graduation related articles.

If you do not use any Tag no Browse Related Topics box will appear at all. If you use an unpopular Tag that no one has used before you may or may not get a Related Articles page because the site sometimes shortens Tags used.  For example I tagged an article with the name Ellen G White (an author name) but the Related Articles page has articles about white kitchens and white cows (follow link to see).

What Tags Do - Tag Box & Tag Pages

All Tags you enter show up in a Browse Related Topics box on the right side of the article. No Tags, no Related Topics box.

All articles by everyone that share the same Tag go on the Related Article page together automatically.  

An example for Toys http://www.infobarrel.com/articles-related.php?tag=toys  and another list of different articles tagged for Toy (singular) http://www.infobarrel.com/articles-related.php?tag=toy   

The Tag Pages include the following elements:  

  • the article titles (linked)
  • the author's username (not linked)
  • a photo (more on that later)  
  • the first couple lines of the article (hint: a good place for your best keywords).  
  • a "more" link to each article 
  • They also have some ads that likely benefit Site Admin (pretty fair).

SEO Benefits

Links on your page to a truly related tag page help the search engines understand what your article is about and that is a good thing.

Two good quality links from each Tag Page that includes a number of related articles help give some internal link love to your article.

The search engines likely see the Tag Box as an important indicator about what the article is about.

The tags are also another chance to get in your keywords on the page without stuffing them in the text unnaturally.  

To Tag or Not to Tag... that is the Question...

One argument says that tagging is bad because it creates the Browse Related Topics box which presents a number of opportunities for readers to click off to another article instead of following an imbedded link you placed or ad.  

The counter argument is that:

  • there are SEO benefits to good Tags 
  • getting readership from related articles is a good thing - and in trade you might lose some readers to related articles.  When there was a related article box this was a bigger deal, now with just the tags listed I believe few people click through the tags.
  • keeping readers circulating on the site from article to article, rather than clicking off to find something more relevent, benefits all writers 

Good vs Bad Tag Choices

Good Tags are:

  • words that really explain what the article is about
  • link to a page of truly related articles
  • are good for SEO

The Infobarrel Editorial Guidelines say: 

TAGS: Adding the top keywords related to your article helps us to bring more traffic to your article.

  1. Please make sure you put a line break between each TAG.
  2. Ideally, your tags should be optimized based on the most commonly searched keywords as published by Google.com for your particular niche. It helps to use a good keyword research tool to help you determine which ones are best to use.
  3. You should have a minimum of 2 Tags and a maximum of 5.
  4. We do not accept tags that are completely unrelated to the content of your article.

Bad Tags are:

  • too vague - like "how to", "information about"
  • too specific - no one else has ever used that tag
  • help pull unrelated ads (yes they can impact what ads Google and Yahoo serve on your article page

Are Tags Keywords?

Sort of but not really.  The concept of keywords is much larger and more important to your online success than Infobarrel Tags are. Infobarrel Tags are one good place you can consider using your keywords, depending on the keyword's suitability as an Infobarrel Tag, but keywords should be worked into your titles, subheadings, first and last paragraphs, and even in the labels for photos. That is about as far as the two ideas are related.

If you are not a keyword expert, than consider read up on the basics of basics of keywords for success at Infobarrel.

How Photos are Chosen

The photos that show up on the Tags pages get prioritized automatically as:

  • The first photo found in the article and failing a photo on the page
  • the author's profile picture, and failing there being an profile photo
  • a generic placeholder IB assigns to the Author's Profile (black and white drawings of heads and cats etc) 

Other Issues

Checking the effect of your Tags is just one reason you should be checking everything you write after you publish it.  Also look at the relevance of the advertising, how the formating looks and double check that each embedded link works properly. 

Hopefully this explanation of Infobarrel Tags has been helpful.  If there is anything missed or incorrect please comment and I'll address the issue.