SEO : Avoid Tag clouds to prevent Keyword Stuffing says Matt Cutts

Published On :

Today, we see many bloggers coming up; building blogs either using blogger or WordPress. They work pretty hard, achieve results. After all the efforts made by them for a period of 3-4 months they see average rankings and start comparing with the best in the blogosphere.

They often feel read the history of great bloggers who got success & say that we too put our full efforts on optimizing it. So, where does the difference lie ?

There is certainly a difference. A professional blogger too puts in equal efforts as compared to a startup blogger. But the difference between both is that the former one (Pro Blogger) performs smart work & optimizes the blog the right way.

Taking tips from experts in the company, doing a bit of research himself is considered as a smart work. So, he achieves good results & makes money comfortably while the latter (Startup blogger) just toils and feels disappointed.

Keyword Stuffing

[Image Credit]

What is Keyword Stuffing ?

Keyword Stuffing, basically involves a collection of lot of words (normally meta keywords) from a site put in together. Look at the letters jumbled above in the image. Do you like it ? Well, if you are good in designing then you will surely as it looks attractive.

But in pure English, do you have any idea what does letters are pointing to ? No, will be the obvious choice. Same is the case for search engines, even though they are bots; they tend to be human made. Keyword Stuffing will make the search engines consider the links as spam/less trusted links.

Why you should consider removing Tag clouds ?

Many people use Tag Clouds on their blogs, forums, etc. It’s good for your readers to get the info they want on a particular topic. But it’s not good for your search rankings; if you use lots of tags in the tag cloud it’s ultimately considered Keyword Stuffing. Tag Clouds

I would suggest you to limit the number of tag clouds or if you feel your readers aren’t using it more often, then you can even consider removing it. Search Engines determine rankings of a site considering all the content, links & many other aspects. So every single link is important. Now, if a tag cloud too comes into play, the rankings of the site will be shared by it too.

Matt Cutts, who is considered as the SEO guru & who continues to work in Google’s Quality search & Webspam team has put out an answer to a Question asked to the Google Webmaster Team on YouTube. Watch the video as he has explained the same which I have written in this post.

I would recommend you to still use Tag clouds, but limit up to 25-30 tags on sites which don’t have main subjects to have concerns. On a blog or a forum, consider removing the tag clouds, or you can easily no-follow it as you have your main blog content i.e. your Posts which have higher priority than the Tag clouds. This will help the Page Rank (PR) to have a better priority on your blog posts.

Do you agree with the point made here ? Have you still kept the tag cloud on your sites ? Share your views as comments!

Share :
Tagged as : 97 Comments
About » Has written 231 Post(s) «

I'm a Web Designer/Developer, SEO'er and a Blogger who gives a few Blogging Tips in the form of posts/tutorials. Follow & Subscribe to my Blog if you feel it's worth it.

HostGator
Loader

80 Comments Comments RSS

  1. #

    Today i learned about how more tags on tag cloud limits our productivity, Thanks for a excellent tips :)

  2. #

    Yet another example of Google moving the goalposts because people aren’t using a Google product.

    WordPress – has tag clouds. Not owned by Google.
    Blogger – hasn’t got tag clouds. Owned by Google.

    Guess which one G. will decide it doesn’t like?

    • #

      hehe..nice relations made out of it Andy

      But ultimately Google is the current giant..so we need to follow it :P

    • #

      Hi, thanks for the info on this. I think that this is really the reason that Blogger doesn’t have tag clouds. I like looking at the transparent rotating tag clouds only because they look so cool. But I would never click on one. Most of the time I don’t even read what the tags are ;)

      Thank you.

      • #

        Yup Google is smart enough to not integrate Tag Clouds on Blogspot as they have made it fully SEO friendly.

      • #

        Yup Google is smart enough to not integrate Tag Clouds on Blogspot as they have made it fully SEO friendly.

  3. #

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  4. #

    This is really an important information in terms of search engine ranking. As I am working t improve my blogs page rank I have taken an important clue from your post.
    Thanks a lot and Keep posting good stuff like this.

    • #

      Welcome to DailyBlogging Manpreet & thanks for the comment..Happy Blogging & Optimization!

  5. #

    I have learned about keyword stuffing today in Digital point forums and its effect on a blog. Now you have enlightened me on this topic more with this article. Thanks mate.

    • #

      Thanks for the comment Sathish..hope you do well with SEO :-)

      I need to find some time to spend on DP forums starting tomorrow :P

  6. #

    Had no idea that tag clouds are bad for SEO, I still doubt a little…

    • #

      Hmm..till last year it was a big myth to use tag clouds in blogs, it was said that they improve indexing & SEO a lot. I too used to believe it then (wasn’t so good in SEO at tht time) But after Matt cutt’s announcement hope you start believing in it :P

  7. #

    I never like tag cloud before but its very interesting Application as it help visitor to click the information which is actually looking for but bloggers and webmasters use it for keyword stuffing thanks for posting such an interesting video and very useful text.

  8. #

    Im not sure I agree, but great info anyway thanks

    • #

      hmm..experiment with tag clouds & without. Compare the results. If you find no change then keep it.

  9. #

    nice indo , i removed all tags … thanks god , did it before the bad

  10. #

    I won’t say tag cloud should be avoided ..Instead I will say keep it noindex but dofollow…
    Infact at times..tag cloud helps users to scan content easily..

    • #

      Ya it is recommended that tags are kept unfollowed itself.

      Thanks for adding more light on that point :-)

  11. #

    doing an internal link nofollow will do no good according to labnol. i think categories , and related posts are better than to have tag clouds

    • #

      Yep having the tags in the tag cloud as no-follow will do no harm to your SEO score. I agree with you on the point of categories & Posts.

  12. #

    Nice info there mani..But one thing that i would have liked to know is alternative methods to help users find content on your site if not using tag cloud.Right now tag cloud is quite popular and user friendly way but what’s next??
    Anyways thanks for a nice article.

    • #

      Well you can always keep it under the ‘No-Follow’ attribute. That won’t harm your rankings.

  13. كازينو
    #

    Hi guys, tried loading this blog through Google RSS reader and got a strange error message, any ideas what could be the issue?

    • #

      Can you give a screenshot ? tht would make it easier for me to check out the error & fix it. Btw it’s displaying perfectly for me.

  14. #

    According to me if the number of tags in your blog are limited then it won’t matter if you show tag cloud also :)

    • #

      Yup..just need to prevent keyword stuffing & a no-follow would do no harm to the readers but increase ur SEO juice.!

  15. #

    Great Post! If you follow Matt Cutts tips & Ideas you can perform miracles easily.

  16. #

    Nevermind, works now!

  17. #

    Really nice post! Your style is so much better in comparison to most other writers. Thank you for posting when you get the chance to, I will be sure to return!

  18. #

    Good explanation. After I see blogs from professional bloggers, apparently they did not use the tag Clouds. Your post really gave me valuable information. Thanks

  19. #

    Yes I do agree with this post. Using 25-30 tags or a list of popular tags wont affect your PR and Matt Cutts clearly mentioned this in his interview.

    • #

      Its better to avoid more than 30, else it will be considered as keyword stuffing.!

  20. #

    Nice post , i will try to limit my tags in tag cloud

  21. #

    That would explain why my specific tag pages sometimes get better rankings than my post pages in WordPress.

    I will delete my tag clouds.

    Instead I will create a tag page with one link to that whole tag page in one of my main menus. That way I won’t have evey tag visible in a tag cloud on every page because it’s in one of the menu sections. I’ve seen a large site recently use just a tag page.

    It’s also useful for visitors as it provides more detail than categories. Plus why limit that detail of tags? Just put them in one place and keep the ranking for your main posts and pages.

  22. #

    It’s new news for me.Thank you for sharing.

  23. #

    Tags are better to be kept as noindex.

  24. #

    I also checked my website and found out that im using 24% of meta keyword density. As per my tags, I had to add rel=”tags” on the links because my article tags and my meta keywords share the same values.

    Thanks for the article, very informative.

  25. #

    WOW! Funny thing is that I removed my tag clouds yesterday because I was wondering the same thing and during a debate with a colleague I decided to google this topic and came across your post. Thanks for the valuable bugget. I will just do w/o tag clouds. Great Blog Also! I will bookmark and be back. =)

    Cheers!

  26. #

    Thanks for sharing this tip. I will think of it and remove it.

  27. #

    I was unaware of this

    I think I need to remove tag cloud after reading this post.

    But, what if we give Tag Cloud and noindex it from robots.txt.
    is then also it a issue?

    ATUL

  28. #

    Thanks for the tip on tag clouds, I never thought about how that might affect my page ranking. I like the look of it, and I’ll keep it around for now; however, I’ll be looking into nofollowing all the links it generates. Thanks for the heads up!

  29. #

    I think my tag cloud is built into my theme. I’m going to have to investigate and see what would happen if I removed it or reduced the number of tags. Interesting info.

    • #

      Just Experiment with things & you’ll get the result. Make sure you noindex the tag links incase you choose to keep the tag cloud on.

  30. #

    I tend to be careful with the tag cloud, in general, I avoid adding tags that match the meta keywords for my posts. I’ve also reduced the number of tags the cloud shows on each page.
    Otherwise, it may indeed engage keyword stuffing

  31. #

    Absolutely right!. This keyword stuffing is a crime in the eyes of search-engines or atleast in the eyes of Google.

    I also came across a WordPress plugin that displays search terms that drive organic traffic to a particular page. I guess, this too is an example of keyword stuffing. What’s your say?.

  32. #

    Is keyword stuffing pertaining to the body of your landing page or in the meta area where you’re supposed to. I add leather boot heel boot black boot and boot is used over and over is that keyword stuffing even though its in the meta area anyway? and if I use plural like boots is that considered another word.Thanks

  33. #

    I never like tag clouds, I don’t really see the benefit in them because usually there is already a link for different categories.

  34. #

    true, tag clouds are so year 2000.

  35. #

    Didn’t knew about this. I myself have been using cloud tags on my blog for a long time.
    Will research more on this stuff!!!!

  36. #

    I believe that Matt Cutts usually gives fairly good advice however I have one question for all of you. Why would Google (Matt Cutts) tell you what they like and don’t like when all that does is make it possible for someone to manipulate rankings. Now this isn’t always the case however if they told you that using keywords you are trying to rank for in tag clouds would boost your rankings then everyone would use tag clouds that were stuffed with keywords. My advice is try it both ways and see what works for you.

    • #

      Well as I said in the post, Matt doesn’t advice to totally remove the Tag Clouds. Instead it’s no. should be reduced to avoid Keyword stuffing as it will be considered as spamming.

  37. #

    Never thought that the tag cloud could be considered keyword stuffing. My tag cloud had over 50 tags. Removed it after watching this video. Lets see if it helps.

  38. #

    i know about cloud. but thank you for post

  39. #

    Thanks for the clarification along with Matt Cutts explanation It just validated my opinion that tag clouds usefulness regarding SEO has dropped dramatically

  40. #

    Thanks for the great info. I’m thinking about removing all this kinds of widgets like tag cloud etc. I thing simple tags at the bottom of the post is enough. Google Panda doesn’t like them. :)

  41. #

    There’s a word out there – when Matt Cutts says something do the opposite. :)

    Kidding, interesting post.

  42. #

    great info for the post…..

  43. EllisGL
    #

    I remember this article when it came out, but I’ve come back to it. I don’t want to have tag cloud on all my pages, only my posts. The tag cloud would only have the tags that are related to the post. I’m wondering how that would affect SEO.

  44. Ian
    #

    Ah my ignorance is great sometimes. I always viewed tag clouds as way to get directed to malicious or unknown sites purely based on the way they look. My thinking is, there is a logically ordered menu or list of categories and posts to navigate with so what purpose would this jumbled mess of non descriptive links serve other than keyword stuffing or add clicks or something like that? And so I have never clicked on a link in a tag cloud. I never even hovered to see where the link goes. I just ignore them like advertisements. I wonder how many average users (meaning users who often don’t even know what a firefox is) would click on one of these knowing that it would lead them to a relevant article or page on the blog. I never see a heading that says “click one of these tags to see relevant articles”. Then again average users imho will click on anything and that’s why google adds work. I just got confirmation from my Mom on that. If she’s on a recipe blog and see’s the word meatloaf she will click on it even though it might actually lead her to randomMaliciousPage.com

  45. #

    This is a very lucidly written Blog post. The language is simple to understand and the Matt Cutts video the kind of icing on the cake.

    I was having an argument with my SEO specialist about the use of the Tag Cloud plugin on my Blog, I did not want it ( could not understand the significance of – Visually cluttered – links ).

    He insisted the plugin be deployed. I agreed – he was the SEO specialist.

    Now I know better.

    The Tag cloud plugin is coming off.

    Thank you Mani. Really appreciate the article.

  46. #

    Thanks for this post and sharing…

  47. #

    Good to know! I was never a fan of tag clouds anyway.

  48. #

    Just got this topic from daily bloggings popular posts widget. Thank you very much i’m currently avoid my tg clouds because of its irritating structure.

  49. #

    Who would have thought! I’m going to remove some of my tags right now. Thanks for the info!

  50. #

    last time i think that, when i type site:ngonhaidang.com.vn i saw too many many link, i can’t control today i think i right. thanks for make me clearly tab clouds

  51. #

    Looks like we need to remove tag clouds from some of our client sites. Google is clamping down on so much these days they are really pushing the SEO guys.

  52. #

    Was using a big tag cloud but have minimized it to just 12 tags. Thanks alot for the tip. Its a new website so want such tips. Thanks to u guys to help me out :)

  53. Michelle
    #

    Yet another “directive” threat from Google to ignore what’s best for web users and concentrate on what’s best for Google. Pathetic! The control that google dictate over the SEO market will eventually come to an end because of the greedy, uncompetitive practises of google. I will code whatever I damn well want for my user interface and I don’t give a sheit was Mr Cutts the so called expert thinks.

    Google is always playing catch up or buying their competitors so I don’t take UI advise from those losers.

    Nice blog.

  54. Michelle
    #

    Hey guys, concentrate on producing good, clean, usable content for your target market and you will attract users from viral word of mouth, you don’t need to concentrate so much on making your website “SEO friendly”, because you won’t keep customers that way, there is only 1 way to keep your customers and that is to have a useful website. Getting them there may be difficult without Google optimised SEO, but I guarantee keeping them will be easier! Which would you prefer?

  55. #

    Mostly Webmasters repeat their keywords while accrossing the limits to rank better but instead of banned their sites by Google.I wants to clarify you that take a deep look at your on page optimization for keyword stuffing by analyzing your headings, titles, meta tags, hidden texts, keyword density for body text and also your anchors which you are using during link building process and remember never across the limits.

  56. #

    I think Google is starting to become a too big influence on the web, if such things as tah clouds can get your site penalized.

  57. #

    Yes, Tag clouds are real SEO problem. I got banned from adsense due to key word stuffing. after doing a lot of research , i found it is no useful. Even google bot is ignoring Meta keywords as well. Need to concentrate on Title and meta descrption

  58. #

    Thank you for the tips.

  59. #

    Thank You for all the tips. I won’t use tag clouds anymore.

17 Trackbacks

  1. By Top 5 ways to find SEO Jobs on August 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm
  2. By Do your keywords tick all the right boxes? on November 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm
  3. By DailyBlogging Traffic Stats for April 2011 on May 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm
  4. By 5 Tips to get an Approved AdSense Account on May 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm
  5. By 3 Steps to Write Compelling Blog Post Titles on October 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

Also, use your Real name in the 'Name' field. Comment names with only keywords will be trashed.