Tagging and pinging are common terms used in social bookmarking and web publishing, and it’s important to learn how to do both effectively when you need the top rankings on sites and search engines. Search engines and social bookmarking aggregators work in very similar ways, and the most effective strategy for gaining prominence in either of these is to code your copy correctly!
TAGGING: WHAT IS IT?
Developing search-engine friendly copy has become even easier with the introduction of tagging widgets on a variety of web publishing interfaces. Tagging is simply a process of breaking down your submissions into keywords. Keywords of relevance are usually general in scope, and will make your copy fit into a variety of indexes and categories with a few simple tweaks.
Consider tagging to be a condensed version of your main idea. This is an effective approach when you are trying to make sense of the process, and the best way to do it is to start with your heading and title. Your title will serve as the main source of indexing by search engines, and you can make it stand out even more by adding relevant tags.
As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure you are also using the appropriate tags and meta-tags in descriptions and heading titles. Some search engines use these areas to index anything you publish, and it’s important that they are relevant and free of spam.
Still, tagging within a social bookmarking site offers multiple benefits. Many social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Technorati make use of tag clouds that break out each article and section it off to different categories. Using keywords such as ‘internet’ or ‘computer’ for example will automatically list your article or submission in both areas. It’s just another way for users to find articles or entries of relevance; whenever they click on one of these tag clouds, a full listing of articles with those tags will show up on their screen.
A growing number of portals and websites are offering tagging systems to index content. This is especially helpful for blogs and other larger resources where context is highly important. Think about the millions of articles and entries on the web today, and how difficult it would be for someone to find your specific article if they could only find you with a few keywords. Tagging helps to create context and relevance within different categories, and once a user has reached the social bookmarking platform; it makes it much easier to find you.
More people are becoming comfortable and familiar with using tag clouds to group and find the information they need; your website can reach a much wider audience when it’s easily found in a variety of areas, instead of just under one content page or index.
As each social bookmarking site indexes and aggregates the incoming data, patterns of tags start to emerge; the more popular a particular theme or idea becomes, the larger the tag cloud. You’ll notice this as you review different tag clouds, and you’ll see some words standing out far more than others. This means that more people are submitting articles with the same tags, and more people are viewing them. It’s an easy way to monitor and review how well specific topics are doing at any given time.
TAGGING: HOW TO DO IT
Tagging each entry you submit will become a habit, but you do need to make sure that the tags are relevant and free of spam. Only use keywords that actually apply to your entry; if you start using extra words simply to gain exposure or search engine placement, another user may report it and you may be forced off the network.
Think of tagging as labeling all of your data; you are creating an easily index-able system so that search engines and social bookmarking sites can find and place your article. Breaking down your article into a ‘notes’ form is a very effective strategy for rising to prominence!
You’ll need to break down your main idea into general topics, then narrow it down to more specific keywords. Titles in your article are a good way to start, and you do not need to include words such as ‘the’, ‘it’, or ‘a’. If you do, the tagging system will usually just take them out. Be sure to pick keywords that classify your submission the best; while there are no limits to the number of tags you can add, it’s important to limit them to only those of relevance.
PINGING: WHAT IS IT?
Pinging has quickly become a popular activity with the social networking boom, and in most cases it is an automatic process. Pinging is the process of identifying your IP address and making sure that it is a valid address for search engines. Pings identify the web address to various hosts, and once the address is verified, it can be networked and updated in search engines and indexes.
Bloggers make use of pinging when in cases where posts are not updated automatically. Pinging allows the user to update search engines and various indexes that a new blog posting has been submitted. This is necessary for indexing purposes only, and can help search engine spiders and indexers ‘pick up’ your submission much faster. Old search engine strategies required manually entering sites and submissions for pinging; today, however, most publishing platforms take care of this process automatically.