WordPress Tags gone haywire!

Just a quick shout out about WordPress Global Tags and how they’ve gone a bit strange all of a sudden. When you write a post you can choose to add tags that are filed with that post, these are known as Global Tags. When someone clicks these on your post they are taken to a new page with topics related to that word or tag.

At the moment WordPress tags have gone a bit weird. Instead of linking to a new page with other related topics they are directing you back to your own post under ARCHIVES. This brings up a list of posts on your blog with the same tag.

So for example my recent post on eczema has the tags as seen on the image above. But when I click them I come back to my own blog and not to the usual list where you can view others bloggers similar topics.

It seems that WP are trying something out and “may” have the issue resolved soon. It has something to do with trying to stop spammers from abusing the system. I’ve just read through a bunch of forums and plenty of people have noticed this and many are not happy. WP tag system allows everyone to surf blogs relating to topics that interest you, and at the moment this isn’t working the way we expect.

There are some new features that WP are trying to implement, like the stats bar that appears on your grey toolbar that wasn’t there a few days ago. And another feature called Zementahttp://www.zemanta.com/faq/wpcom/#faqid-82 – which gives your more control of your posts, what topics you choose to link to and how to customise stuff. There are mixed reviews about this feature, some love it, some hate it.

Quick Tip! When adding tags WP recommend you use between 5 and 10 and no more!! Don’t exceed this as WP can reduce your blogs visibility as it may consider your blog/post to be the work of a spammer!

If you want to know more I’ve collected a few links to WP forums about this strange problem.

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/did-you-notice-this?replies=21

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/categories-incorrectly-displaying-as-tags?replies=21#post-675141

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/related-posts-not-showing?replies=11#post-675713

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22 thoughts on “WordPress Tags gone haywire!

  1. Great tip re number of tags! I did not realise that because I often include long tail key words.
    I’ve just had a problem with a post I’ve made. All was fine when I posted it, went back an hour later and the photos had move which meant the text was in the wrong place. Perhaps, it was just me, but I was particulary careful to make sure everything was OK because it was a guest post. 😳

    • I wondered through the WP forums, searched for “tags” and found a whole mess of people upset by the changes. Turns out WP are implementing some changes or tweaks and the coding that makes the tags works is being adjusted or something like that. Seems like a strange way to go about it by making our own tags face inwards to our blogs rather than connecting with others.

    • I’m not sure. I figured that because the tags aren’t currently being linked outside of WP blogs they’re also not being picked up by Google etc. There is a thing you can check to make sure your blog is still available to search engines but it doesn’t solve the tags issue.

      Go to Dashboard, then scroll down to Settings and click Privacy Settings. You have 3 options, the top one being the one that’s good for search engines:

      I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers.

      This is what I have selected. However, the tags issue is preventing search engines from picking up new tags on new posts at the moment. Presumably WP are aware of this so it’s a case of wait and see what happens. I’ll keep an eye on it and post any changes.

  2. I noticed that the tags went berserk a few days ago. It’s quite annoying, isn’t it? *sigh* I guess I’ll just have to learn to deal with it if it continues. Good tip about the number of tags, by the way. I learned about this a long time ago when I first started using WP on my old blog.

  3. I’ve been thinking through the mist of this flipping cold I’ve got…yes I know dangerous for a woman to think! BUT Google picks up keywords in your posts. I recently wrote a post on blackbirds. I just typed in “Blackbirds in Portugal” and it was words in my post that were picked up in google. What happens your end if you type in the same phrase?

    You can also opitimize for vertical search on the major search engines which can produce good results if you are in a niche market such as I am. So it appears not to be just tags.

    Dave I’m just scratching the surface re. learning SEO techniques; there is so much to learn!
    It certainly makes for interesting bedtime reading :)…sends you off to sleep πŸ™‚

    • I just searched for “Blackbirds in Portugal” and your blog was second in the results! Nice one! Though I think it’s wrong, it should be top as the top one didn’t look quite right. You’re right, search engines send out their spider bots to hunt down specific phrases and index them in their database so it isn’t just the tags you enlist to your blog that work alone.

      The post that gets the most hits on my blog is the one I did about world of warcraft monopoly ages ago! I read an awful lot about how search engines work a year or so ago, though I can’t remember a lot of it now! It was very interesting reading too, good stuff to send you to sleep!

      Sorry to hear you have a cold btw! Hope it clears up ok!

  4. Yep, it’s fascinating and even better when you put it into practice and it works! However, google is constantly changing all the time.
    So back to tags, if you have written your posts and included relevant key words it makes me wonder how important tags really are? Perhaps that’s what you did when you wrote warcraft monopoly? Another interesting point. Are all wordpress blogs Page Rank 3. Yours is, mine is and I wonder how many others. I checked another website that was not a wordpress blog, they receive 1000hits per day plus and they were just page rank 2,
    I will have to test the theory on some blogspot blogs!

    Boa noite!
    PiP

  5. Rankings are confusing at best! Where your website or blog appears in the list of a search depends not only on tags and what search engine spiders pick up (keywords etc) but also how many links are pointing to your website. If you upload a website or blog and no one ever links to it, then presumably Google wouldn’t pick up on it unless it finds certain keywords or a tag.

    But if you have a website or blog and hundreds of people refer to it on other websites, using links, then Google starts to pay attention. So in regard to your website for example, I would assume many ex-pats who read it will link back to it, both for the quality of the writing and topics (true indeed!) but also for the quality of information. So Google will see a lot of links pointing to your blog and figure PiP has got it going on!

    Businesses and such can pay to advertise through various directories and that in turn will provide them with better rankings as more links point to their website. Well, that’s the theory anyway! In terms of finding a niche thingy on Google, world of warcraft monopoly the top four results all mention me! Yay! But then that’s a very specific thing so it’s understandable.

    After building websites for years I’ve found blogs, especially WP, do take the stress out of getting your site listed in search engines. Also think of the longevity of the website or blog. The older it is the more established it becomes and theoretically will generate more links to it over time, if the content is good enough for people to link to it anyway.

    An interesting topic indeed and the scale of SEO is quite astounding.

  6. I think that possibly the tags linking to other posts on the same blog was done so that a reader who likes the blogger’s style and would like to read more on a particular topic (i.e. tag) by the same writer can do so by clicking on or using a search query within that blog.

    If you want to search all WordPress blogs by tag, go to Freshly Pressed and click on the “Tags” tab and enter the tag subject in the query field and press “search tags”. That will return blog entries from other bloggers with the tag you’ve specified.

    I’m not sure if the change would cause the tags which are associated with, or embedded into, a given post to become invisible to search engines unless WordPress has inserted an “ignore code” into every page. I’m just guessing on this point.

  7. And that’s what’s so weird about it, the Freshly Pressed page still works and you can still search through tags but it’s not linked to those on our blogs, which is counter intuitive. I’ve had another read through a bunch of WP forums and no one really knows if this is permanent or a temporary.

    I’m not sure either how the change in tags works with search engines now, like PiP said certain keywords are picked up but tags did play a big part in SEO stuff as they act the same way meta-tags do when building a web page in html, at least that’s how I see them working.

  8. I don’t use many tags… and I admit to using the “tag surfer” thingy when I want to surf other blogs with the same topic. I did it yesterday, and it opened on a page of other blogs as usual – I’ve never done it through the tags themselves.
    I shall point WordPress users to your blog – especially those who abuse tags! πŸ˜‰

    • Oh Tag abuse is a sin! I had to look through some of my older posts just to make sure I wasn’t guilty of this, and, um, I did some editing! A few posts had 9 or 10 tags and looking back I realise I was just being lazy instead of choosing a few decent tags to illustrate my post.

      Maybe it will all blow over soon. We can dream!

  9. I’ve just received a reply from a dude called Chris who works at WP. I sent an email to the WP team about the tag situation:

    I’ve just noticed that when I click my tags I have added to my posts they don’t
    bring up a page under the Global tags system but link back to my own blog under
    Archived Posts. I’ve checked dozens of my previous posts going back over 12
    months and they all do the same thing. I never use more than 10 tags, seldom use
    more than 5 so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    —–

    And got this reply back:

    Hi Dave,

    We’re experimenting a bit with the way tags work, and trying to discover which way provides the best user experience. πŸ™‚

    Let us know if you have any questions.

    Best,
    Chris

    Automattic | WordPress.com

    —–

    Sigh. I wish they wouldn’t experiment with such a fundamental aspect of WP that bloggers rely on to interact with one another.

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