WordPress Categories, Technorati Tags and Search Engine Optimisation

Technorati is a search engine which automatically receives a notification from weblogs as soon as they are updated.

Technorati Tags are a way of classifying blog posts – you can add tags to your blog posts by adding a rel=”tag” to tag links in your posts – however this method is cumbersome and prone to mistakes. Fortunately, if you are a WordPress user, Technorati automatically recognises your categories and uses them as Tags to classify your posts.

Why are Tags important? Well, if I want to see what has been written by bloggers recently on any topic, I simply browse to the Technorati Tag page for that topic and see all the latest posts. For instance the Technorati Tag page for Security at time of writing contains 4,620 posts from 850 blogs, all on security related topics.

But wait, there’s more! I can do a search in Technorati for a term of interest – and if I want to keep an eye on what people are writing about that term moving forward, I can create what is called a Watchlist for that term (the term can be anything – your company name, for instance – or your competitor’s name!). A Watchlist is a saved, constantly updating search so you can go back to the search and at any time see the latest posts on your term of interest. It gets even better, your Watchlists are also available as RSS feeds so you can keep an eye on them using your RSS reader!

Given that Tags are important and that WordPress categories translate into Technorati Tags, it follows that you should chose your WordPress category names very carefully. For instance, if you want to create a Category for posts about about your blog – you could call it, Blog, Blogging or Weblog. If you look at the equivalent Technorati Tags for these terms, you will see that the TagBlog has a Google Page Rank (PR) of 5 and has 42,678 posts from 7,422 blogs; Blogging has a PR of 4 and has 15,131 posts from 2,295 blogs; while Weblog has a PR of 2 and has 55,823 posts from 3,552 blogs.

So from a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) point of view, the best category name (of the three) to chose in WordPress would be Blog because it has the highest Google Page Rank (and has the highest number of associated blogs). A page with a high Page Rank linking to your site increases your own Page Rank and therefore your SEO.

Something to consider when creating WordPress categories.

74 thoughts on “WordPress Categories, Technorati Tags and Search Engine Optimisation”

  1. Thanks for this mini article, Tom. I had no idea that Technorati did this, and it’s so cool and useful once a blogger (and readers of blogs) learn about it.

  2. Hi again Darren (again, ‘cos I just left a comment on your blog!),

    thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you found the article useful. I posted it the other night after a long day so I was afraid that it might be a bit dis-jointed.

    Might I ask – how did you come across it?

    Thanks,

    Tom

  3. Hi,
    I’ve been adding my meta tags as a footer for my blog and it seems to get picked up by search engines. I’ll try your suggestion too.
    Thanks Tom John M “Net-eBooks.com”

  4. I tried this out, and most tags on Technorati (in the format http://www.technorati.com/tag/TAGNAME) seem to have NO pagerank.

    For example, I wanted to test “realestate” versus “re” versus “properties” – no pagerank for any of them.

    Same thing happens with “newyork” vs. “nyc”, one of the biggest cities in the world – no pagerank for EITHER of those tags?

    It’s a good idea in theory, but I suspect it only works for a few tags (e.g., blog, internet).

  5. Maybe I just don’t understand how Technorati works. Apparently “Internet” has a PR of 5, but “internet” (all lowercase) has none, in Technorati’s tag URLs. IMO case shouldn’t matter, but whatever, I guess it does 🙁

  6. Tom, if the pagerank of a Technorati tag page doesn’t help (as I wrote here yesterday), something like Overture’s keyword suggestion tool might be another tool to use in deciding category names.

    It’s not utterly scientific of course, it’s just the # of times a word/phrase was searched for last month, but it’s almost certainly better than outright guessing!

  7. Thanks for this post Tom, I translated it to french on my blog. Unfortunately for the non-english-speaking blogs, if we choose our category names in our own language, the Page Rank of the Technorati tags associated is much more lower.

    We’ll keep blogging anyway 😉

  8. Thanks very much Jamalak – much appreciated.

    Other things like having a web standards compliant site and using PermaLinks properly will help your sites findability more than the Technorati tip on this page, I imagine.

  9. Hi

    Do you know if Techonrati uses the category name or the category slug as a tag? I have a category called “Cover Stories” with the slug “blog” and I’m not sure how it is tagged in Tecnorati.

    Great article, btw.

    Thomas

  10. since you are talking about adding a tag with appropiate keywords, i want to ask you this. on my blog which is hosted directly on wordpress.com, how can i add a tag to my subject line, other then checking the appropiate catergory for technorati. in other words how do i edit the html for the title to include rel tag? thanks for your help.

  11. If you look at the equivalent Technorati Tags for these terms, you will see that the tag “Blog” has a Google Page Rank (PR) of 5 and has 42,678 posts from 7,422 blogs; “Blogging” has a PR of 4 and has 15,131 posts from 2,295 blogs; while “Weblog” has a PR of 2 and has 55,823 posts from 3,552 blogs.

    Surely then being linked in with 42K (approx) other links is not good for incoming links or inbound linking? I don’t see hwo there is any SEO value there… Can you explain why? It doesn’t make sense to me although I do support the idea of using category tagging, that is a no-brainer.

  12. Hey Carlo,

    The way Google’s Page Rank works is that when someone links to you – Google takes into account the PageRank of the linker when deciding how to calculate your PageRank (as well as how many others that site has linked to).

    PageRank is logarithmic so a score of 5 is 10 times better than a 4 – therefore a page with a rank of 5 would need to have 10 times the number of outward links before they became equivalent in value to a page with a PageRank of 4 – all other things being equal.

    I hope this clarifies it for you Carlo.

  13. Thanks Tom! I understand the logarithm involved I was just wondering if there was a saturation point where Google may ignore so many links. Oh I just woke up, I should maybe think a little more about this! Thanks anyway 🙂

  14. This is kind-of off the subject, but you seem to know a lot about the subject, so I’ll ask…. how do you change the titles on individual posts in wordpress. When I search for my blog on Google, the results always look like:

    TheHookahLounge>BlogArchives>HereIsThePostName

    And the post name usually gets truncated, so I assume that makes a lot of people skip over it. I would love to have it JUSt say the post name. I’ve tried changing permalinks to no avail.

    Any ideas?

    Brad

  15. Hi,
    I’m new in Technorati and WordPress. I wonder where can I put the technorati tag into WordPress? Thanks…

  16. Hi Tom

    Following thorugh on your suggestions here is what I did;

    1. I created a permalink in WP as /%postname%/

    2. I pasted in the code into .htaccess and set at 666

    3. When I click the in the blog I get the path:
    http://www.domain.com/category/supplements

    The post shows up ok but I didnt want 2 sub directories.

    I can’t seem to get rid of either category or supplemnt
    How could i achieve it so I just get
    http://www.domain/supplements/

    Thanks
    Arthur

  17. But if all blogs’ owners take it from SEO point of view, and concentrate on popular terms that may or may not reflect the actual category, or at least make it mysterious, people experiences with Technorati would be more difficult, and all Watchlists would contain more than general terms that are not he exact interesting words. Correct me if I’m wrong?

  18. Mag – not necessarily – you go with the term which best reflects what your content is about and which which works best from Technorati’s point of view. You have to consider both sides of the equation not just Technorati.

  19. Hi Tom,
    Interesting post. When I check Page Rank on the tags you mention (using Firefox Google Toolbar), I get a PR of 0 on all of them. Technorati.com itself shows PR 8. Has something changed recently?

    Glenn.

  20. Sounds like it has Glenn – we’ll have to keep an eye on this. Still, it is stil important for your search rank in the other search engines too (they just don’t publish page rank numbers).

  21. A few questions from a blog idiot

    How do you keep the spammers from eating you alive? i\’ve seen blogs with nothing but spam postings.

    How do you keep some left wing extremist from posting racist or defamatory rhetoric? and if you cant stop them, what are you legally liabel when they do?

    can viruses be posted to blogs?

  22. Thank you. I was not aware of the way the Technorati tags were interpreted by the search engines. Would it be accurate to say that they are similar to keywords just more useful and important?

  23. Pingback: SEO para Wordpress
  24. Thank you for the nice tips Tom. I am trying to learn about CEO, but in portuguese (i´m portuguese) there isn´t almost nothing about CEO, so, i´m glad i find you blog.

    Have a great weekend!

  25. But if all blogs’ owners throw up it from SEO wise of worshipfulness, and firm on hoped-for kicker that may or may not meditate the everyday category, or at we happy few work it beclouded, kind experiences tea dance Technorati would be more not easy, and all Watchlists would discontinuance more otherwise general requisite that are not he exact interesting words. Correct me if I’m deceptive?

  26. thank you for the article tom, very interesting. For SEO purposes is it not equally important for the tags to have names relavant to the purpose and content of the blog as apposed to just ‘blog’ or ‘blogging’?

  27. Thank you. I was not intense of the way the Technorati tags were interpreted by the see to engines. Would it be accurate to say that they are simulated to keywords just au reste opportune and important?

  28. Execllent guide! Not many people that even technorati tags have pagerank. Also take note that tags should be chosen wisely, our post titles also plays a major role on seo and also traffic.

  29. Don’t forget thought that if you are associated with a certain tag that has a very high pagerank, you are probably swimming in a very competitive sea …

    Sometimes it makes sense to tag yourself into a medium or even less competitive niche …

    Lex

  30. Execllent guide! Not many people that even technorati tags have pagerank. Also take note that tags should be chosen wisely, our post titles also plays a major role on seo and also traffic. This post is really helpful….

  31. Thanks for the article Tom.
    Online marketing is just developed so well due to search engine. I always optimize my titles and subjects – they are very important also for google and other search engines. For SEO purposes it is not equally important for the tags to have names relavant to the purpose but also content of the blog as apposed to just blog or blogging.

  32. I have finally just changed my Permalink structure and now I am re-investigating my category setup. As far as the default link name blog\category\categoryname goes, is this a good approach. Do I actually need “category” in the URL?

    I liked your thoughts above of how technorati tags relate to wordpress tags. I’ll have to check how my categories fair on technorati…except I don’t know how to use it yet 🙂

  33. Hello Tom,

    I’m new in SEO, permalink, and WP world (less than 2 months). However, I’ve had 2 websites, http://www.indo-handicraft.com and http://www.1001crafts.com which performs differently on Google Search Engine. My indo-handicraft.com seems to have more permanent rank on Google search engine (keyword: handmade bags, which is on page 3 of google search engine), while my 1001crafts.com seems to disappear 3-4 days on Google search engine.

    I’ve noticed there’s a difference in permalink structure between indo-handicraft.com and 1001craft.com. I notice there’s a notice “If your .htaccess file were writable, we could do this automatically, but it isn’t…” under indo-handicraft. But there’s NO notice under 1001crafts.com. Following your suggestion, both permalinks are set to:/%postname%/, but the indo-handicraft’s chmod is 644, while 1001crafts’ chmod is 666.

    How can I make 1001crafts to have similar notice “If your .htaccess file were writable, we could do this automatically, but it isn’t…” as indo-handicraft.com does? I want to make my 1001crafts similar to indo-handicraft so that 1001crafts will also be stable in google site rank.

    Thank you so much Tom

  34. I use the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin, from http://semperfiwebdesign.com/

    I have all my blog posts showing up in Google nicely, for example:

    Business, Real Estate and Investing Products | Lerner Consulting, Inc.
    May 21, 2010 … Real Estate Investing methods, techniques, resources. Cost $thousands less than the major workshops, yet speed your making money through …
    http://www.lernerconsult.com/blog/business-real-estate-investing-products/ – Cached

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