Grok & Korg – Tagging

While I was out browsing through the cohort’s blogs I stumbled upon Heidi’s post “Searching across blogs for “wingit” and since this was exactly what I was doing, I figured I should probably read it. First, HEIDI YOU ARE SO RIGHT! It seems basically impossible to search for specific assignments on the cohort blogs because it doesn’t include tags in the search results! Very annoying, but there had to be a way to make this happen (spoilers: there was). So, I proceeded to go through many of the same steps Heidi went through: searched cohort pages for “wingit,” messed with command+F, checked if my Feedly list would search tags. All of this was to no avail (and it’s not that I didn’t believe you, Heidi, but I had to see for myself). This entire summer our group has been diligently tagging, and until now I had no idea that you couldn’t go to another person’s page and search their tags unless it was chilling in a tag cloud widget or you serendipitously ran into it on a recent post.

Many of us learned how/why we should tag our posts with our very first assignment for ED654 tagged yawp. I count myself among the newbies to tagging, but I could immediately see how tagging my posts would help me organize my content. I assumed it would help visitors to my site find like post as well (apparently they’re pretty important to search engine results as well). When we were given the chance to “Bling Your Blog” almost half of the cohort specifically mentioned enhancing the tagging feature in their post: Erin, Linnea, Samantha, Tatiana, and Valerie.

Screenshot of a "tag cloud" in WordPress.

All of the ladies above added the “tag cloud” widget. As to why this was a popular widget, I think Linnea said it best, “so that the content of the website was more visual.” This clever widget shows you in a second not only what the blogger posts about, but how much play each topic gets relative to the others. The tags in the cloud are also clickable, which is kind of important once you realize that the tags don’t show up in the search results. Funnily enough, I had been way more focused on the actual act of tagging posts (see “Work Out Loud”) and did not have the “tag cloud” widget on my sidebar. That has since been remedied.

Tagging has been a requirement for every assignment we’ve turned in, so have we all been tagging and not searching? Are we only navigating the tags through the widget? How has only one person in the cohort posted about this weird issue (kudos to you, Heidi)?

I know that some people *coughChris* almost certainly have a sneaky work around to search tags, and I’m sure many of you have also found a way, but this has been a low-key issue for me all summer so I figured it was now or never. I had already messaged Tatiana (WordPress Queen) to see if there were any plug-ins to help the end-user (nope), and my next message was going to be to our fearless leader. But…I figured out a way to make it work thanks to some “page 2 Googling,” and it’s so easy I feel like I should have lied and told you I knew how to do it all along.

Type in the site:

And add: /tag/tagname/

Ex. would bring you to a list of my “Wing It” assignments

Pros: You can finally find everyone’s “Wing It” posts (or any other tagged posts)!

Cons: You’re searching each individual site and you have to know the name of the tag

So, for all of you who thought your blog was super duper user friendly because you were tagging your posts, consider a few additions. The “tag cloud” is a nice sidebar addition that shows the reader all the tags you’ve used and draws attention to your most tagged topics. But everyone should get one of the search plug-ins that will include things such as tags in the search results on your site. I decided to go with the plug-in “Search Everything.” This will help visitors navigate your site even if it kind of drowns them in search results. While it would have been sweeter to find a solution that allowed me to search tags on everyone’s sites, a “joy of helping others” ending will have to suffice.