Categories vs Tags – Which one is Best for Better SEO ?

One of the foremost mentioned topics we see when attending WordCamps and different events is what’s higher for SEO: categories vs tags? What’s the distinction between categories and tags? What’s the optimum range of WordPress categories? What number is simply too many? Is it okay to assign one post in multiple categories? Is there a limit of tags we will assign to every post? Do tags work like meta keywords? Are there any SEO advantage of using categories over tags or vice versa? We’ve seen quite few commentaries on this subject through out the internet, however we found that they were inconsistent and incomplete. If you ever had these queries, then hopefully they’re going to be answered once you’re done reading this post, thus you’ll be able to build changes to your web blog if necessary.

Before we discuss any of the queries listed on top of, we want to know what’s categories and tags. Within the WordPress language, each categories and tags are called taxonomies. Their sole purpose is to type your content to boost the usability of your website. Which means once a user involves your website, they’ll simply flick through your content by topic instead of browsing chronologically that is how blogs were ab initio setup.

What’s the distinction between categories and Tags?


Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts. Consider these as general topics or the table of contents for your website. Categories are there to assist determine what your web blog is actually regarding. It’s to help readers finding the proper form of content on your website. Categories are hierarchic, therefore you’ll be able to sub-categories.

Tags are meant to explain specific details of your posts. Consider these as your site’s index words. They’re the micro-data that you just will use to micro-categorize your content. Tags don’t seem to be graded.

For example if you’ve got a private web blog wherever you write your life. Your categories is one thing like: Music, Food, Travel, Rambling, and Books. Currently after you write a post regarding one thing that you just ate, you may add it within the Food class. You’ll add tags like pizza pie, pasta, steak etc.

One of the largest distinction between tags and categories is that you just should categorise your post. You’re not needed to feature any tags. If you do not categorise your post, then it’ll be classified underneath the “uncategorized” category. Individuals typically rename the uncategorized category to one thing like alternative, ramblings etc.

Another distinction is that the approach your category and tags permalinks (urls) look. If you’re employing a custom permalink (URL) structure, then your base prefix can look totally different. Example:

What’s the best range of WordPress categories?

Up till WordPress 2.5, there was no inbuilt support for tags. This led to terribly long category lists because individuals were using it to outline micro-details. Tags were another to boost the usability of your website. Having that same, we believe there’s no specific best variety of categories. The best variety varies supported the complexness of your website. However, for the sake of structure and usefulness, it’s best that you just utilize sub-categories and tags.

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Categories are meant to cover a gaggle of posts. It’s always best to begin with generic categories and work your method down with subcategories as your website grows. Once having run multiple blogs, We’ve learned that blogs evolve. There’s no approach that you just will return up with all the proper categories. Chances are high that once beginning out, you’re solely writing one post each day. or even 3-5 posts each day. Having thirty high categories is pointless specially once a number of them can solely have one or 2 posts. you’re more happy with five generic categories that have recent content instead of thirty high categories wherever the bulk don’t seem to be updated.

Let’s take a glance at an example. That we are running a tech media web blog. We would like to share how-to tutorials, wordpress, tech, blogger, android, computers and laptops etc. we will produce high categories like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn etc. As sub categories of each, we will have tools, how-to’s, case studies, news etc. But that’s a awfully short-run mind-set, and that we can run into problems within the future. What if one in every of the social media network dies and a brand new one enters the game? You may be needed to feature a lot of high level class and more sub-categories.

A much higher approach of structuring this social media web blog would be to own high categories that are future-proof. You’ll be able to have your categories like How-To’s, News, Case Studies, Tools, etc. However how would individuals understand that it’s regarding twitter? Well your classes don’t seem to be suppose to try to to the whole job. This can be where tags are available in. Let’s say you wrote a how-to post regarding twitter, merely add the tag twitter. In your style simply add an area referred to as well-liked Topics and manage that manually with links to well-liked tags like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc.

When does one add Subcategories?

Let’s say that you just do a case-study posts wherever generally you interviewed a professional for a particular case-study. Because there’s no category referred to as “expert interviews”, you may add that as a tag on that case-study post. If you discover yourself doing loads of interviews for case-studies and your professional interviews tag has 10+ posts in it and is systematically growing, then you must think about adding professional interviews as a sub-category of your main category “Case Studies”.
Yes, you may have to be compelled to return and edit your older posts. If your URL structure is /category/postname/, then you’ve got confirm you’re using the Redirection plugin. It automatically redirects your changed posts to their new address, thus you’ll be able to keep all the search engine rankings.

Do I actually have to use sub-categories?

No ofcourse not. You’ll forever leave well-liked tags as tags. In our example higher than, most posts can have a tag for a particular social media network like twitter, facebook, etc. However we don’t seem to be making those as categories. The sole reason why you add sub-categories is to form it simple for your users to seek out the content. You’re quite welcome to easily add the professional Interviews tag in your website somewhere.
Remember the entire purpose of categories and tags are to create it simple for your users to browse your website.

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Is it okay to assign one post to multiple categories?

You might browse on alternative sites that assign posts to multiple categories will hurt your SEO. Some say that you just will get fined with duplicate content due to that. we believe that statement isn’t entirely true. First of all, don’t wander away with SEO. Keep in mind the aim of sorting your content with efficiency is to assist users notice it. By the character of how high classes ought to be setup, you shouldn’t be ready to classify one post into multiple ranking classes. As an instance, if your web blog has 3 categories “Advertising, Marketing, and SEO”. Your posts usually tend to fall under multiple categories. Maybe you wish associate umbrella category for all three? Perhaps they must all fall into Business? Otherwise you will have one class known as Advertising & Marketing. Then have SEO as a sub-category for those.

There is no SEO advantages to adding multiple categories. If you think that it helps your users, then you’re quite welcome to feature one post into multiple categories. However, if you see this turning into a regular issue, then you ought to think about restructuring your classes. Perhaps a number of your categories need to be tags. Or even they must be subcategories of 1 major category. It’s primarily about creating the user experience higher.
If you’re super involved about duplicate content penalty, then merely (noindex, follow) your category taxonomy using the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.


If you simply wish to (noindex, follow) specific categories, then you’ll be able to do so by writing the category themselves. Yoast plugin has the setting to override the global settings.

Basically after you (noindex, follow) bound factor, it tells Google and alternative search engine bots to follow all post links in these categories, therefore all posts will be indexed. But don’t index the most category archives to stop duplicate content.

Short answer: WordPress permits you to feature one post into as several categories as you wish. Affirmative it’s okay to assign one post into multiple categories as long as you think that it helps your users. However, if you think that of categories as Table of Contents for your web blog where posts are chapters, then are you able to have one chapter in 2 separate sections? The solution to that question is not any.

Is there a limit of tags we will assign to every post?

Short answer to the present question is not any. WordPress has NO limits on the quantity of tags you’ll be able to assign to a particular post. you can add 1000+ tags if you like. However, the aim of tags is to relate your posts along. Once more consider tags because the index or your book. These are well-liked keywords that you just will use to loosely relate your posts. This makes it simple for users to seek out your posts specially once they are using the WordPress search. It additionally helps if you’re utilizing the tag archive for users. We are saying add no quite 10 tags to your posts unless you’ll be able to justify it. For example: if you’re running a motion-picture show review web blog, You’ll add multiple tags: actor/actress names (this alone is over 10). However chances are high that that you just could review multiple movies that have Adam Sandler in it. But for alternative easier situations, you must extremely limit the quantity of tags you utilize. Otherwise, you’ll end up with over 10000+ tags with solely three hundred posts on the website.

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Do tags work like meta keywords?

Often individuals mistake tags to be like meta keywords for your blogs. This can be the most reason why they struggle to feature as several tags as possible. Tags don’t seem to be meta keywords for your web blog. At least not by default. Well-liked plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast permits you to use your tag values to be within the meta keywords guide. However if you don’t have these plugins designed to try to to that, then your tags don’t work like meta keywords.

Categories vs Tags: What’s higher for SEO?

The most asked question that we see being asked on this subject is: are there any SEO advantage of using categories over tags or vice versa? the easy answer to this subject is not any. You must NOT check out this as categories or taxonomies. They’re meant to figure along. If you’ve got scan this post, then you must be ready to perceive the individual purpose of categories and tags also as their combined purpose for your site’s usability.


Your website is concerning your users not search engine bots. The goal of each search engine is to assume the method users assume once valuing your content. If you create your choices supported usability, you may nearly always find yourself reaping the SEO advantages. Categories and Tags are simply the 2 default taxonomies that comes with WordPress. Most advanced sites use custom taxonomies for sorting their content alongside with categories and tags. Consider your web blog as an ever evolving book. Select the Table of Content (categories) showing wisdom. Confirm that they’re broad topics, however use caution to not create it too imprecise. Use tags to loosely relate multiple posts. If you see a particular tag is changing into well-liked, then think about adding it as a sub-category. However, if you’ve got to feature the tag as subcategory of multiple ranking categories, then leave it as a tag. The goal is usually to form the location as user friendly as potential.
We hope that this post helps clear any and every one confusion once it involves the subject of categories vs tags. we might like to hear your thoughts on this matter. How does one kind your content? what best practices does one follow

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