How tagging enhances SEO: An example

Here is a perfect example of how a comprehensive semantic tagging strategy can add to a site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Just did a search on Wikipedia and Mail & Guardian — the site I used to run back in the 50s :-). The results were interesting.

Instead of the Wikipedia entry showing up as the first result in the Google search, the Mail & Guardian “organisation” tag referring to Wikipedia cracked it as the first Google result. Wikipedia is known for its outrageous search engine rankings so it’s pretty impressive it was pipped. There are thousands of these organisation pages, from obscure to common, listed in the site’s database, each occupying a place in Google’s search results.

The organisation tag page is a computer generated page — it is computer generated content (CGC) — and its achieved top rank in Google with little or no effort… just by being there.

Search results screenshot from “The Google”

Comments (5)

  1. Kevin wrote::

    Hi Matthew,

    I agree that tagging enhances SEO.

    However a few things I want to point out:

    – The example is not great, it’s quite a vague search. Are you searching for sites that include the keywords Wikipedia and Mail & Guardian? Or are you looking for content about mail & guardian on wikipedia? A simple switch-around of the keywords gives diffferent results: [link]http://www.google.co.za/search?q=mail+%26+guardian+wikipedia[/llink]
    – Tagging helps build content around popluar topics and keywords, however, too much tagging around irrelevant topics can create web-spam.

    Yes, tagging will create great link juice distribution and create new “content” pages, but in the example the position of the pages is irrelevant and one needs to take care not to create unnecessary web-spam.

    Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 11:51 am #
  2. matt wrote::

    @Kevin — tks for your comment — I agree a tagging strategy should never be to spam people or merely to jockey for a higher search engine position. It should be about making content more accessible and easy to find for the end user… that’s the primary position I come from. (I am no SEO specialist or internet marketer, but I come from an online content background).

    I also noticed that if you switch the terms around the ranking changes. I’m not sure its that significant. My point still stands: a computer generated tag page was listed in a Google search… aiding the site’s SEO and the user’s search.

    Monday, January 12, 2009 at 8:47 am #
  3. Techy wrote::

    What the hell is a computer generated tag page??

    Friday, January 23, 2009 at 11:28 pm #
  4. idale wrote::

    I’ve seen some substantial results using tags in the past. Was good to see en experiment in action though – Thanks Mathew!

    Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 11:24 am #
  5. matt wrote::

    @Techy — here’s an example: http://www.mg.co.za/topics

    Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 11:16 pm #