WordPress Tags and SEO

WordPress Tags are a popular way of quickly grouping relevant articles together by creating numerous tags. Unlike categories that usually follow a strict hierarchy, tags can be created to cover a wide variety of topics as shown below.

Here we have numerous tags to cover an article related to WordPress, Hosting and SEO:

  • Hosting
  • WordPress
  • SEO
  • WordPress SEO
  • WordPress Hosting
  • General
  • Technical

Each individual tag generates a separate URL/Page on WordPress which can often cause major SEO issues on certain websites.

Should I use WordPress Tags to improve my SEO performance?

The short answer is no, as each tag generates a separate URL you will quickly find yourself with a high volume of pages that feature a single article, often the same article across numerous pages. The problem is that most of these tag pages are almost identical apart from the tag name itself which is often seen as thin-content.

We have seen time and time again small WordPress websites with less than 100 articles published abuse the WordPress tag system, resulting in hundreds of thin tag pages being automatically generated which often negatively impacts performance.

Furthermore, it isn’t uncommon to see a website use the same tag as a category that exists for example:

  • www.example.com/category/WordPress
  • www.example.com/tag/WordPress

The above causes a conflict where we have two URLs targeting the same keyword which often negatively affects organic performance.

Therefore we highly advise you do not use WordPress tags to help boost SEO performance, if you would like to use them to help improve the user-experience you may do so however use a plugin such as Yoast SEO to noindex all tag pages. This will ensure that visitors can navigate around tag pages and your teams can continue to generate tags without affecting SEO performance.

For advanced SEO users and large WordPress websites, tags can in certain rare scenarios be beneficial for SEO however for the average user and website, it is much safer to keep them noindexed or not use them in general.