How to Handle Tag Sprawl

By June 9, 2017 SEO, SEO Strategies No Comments

Nothing operates in isolation in a market situation. Products and services on offer are either complementary or supplementary. Hence, pushing your products towards success requires more than just offering them for sale due to the immense competition. Gaining a competitive edge over these other brands is the key to having the upper hand in any market. The online platform works under similar terms as well. To make massive sales, you have to make your products unique, such that they stand out from the rest. User-generated content will work out perfect for you.

User-generated content (UGC) is exceedingly valuable when well utilized. It is a rich source of content and site organization. More so, it helps in building natural language descriptions and human-propelled arrangement of site content. Most sites, be they blogs or e-commerce sites, benefit mainly from the use of tags that are a product of user-created content. Webmaster can use these tags to create taxonomies and categories of products for browsing, power site search, and provide well-endowed descriptions of site content. However, their use if not regulated can lead to SEO problems. Their submission in bulk could be cumbersome or even impossible. Leaving them unchecked, on the other hand, can lead to thin content, duplicate content, bad content, and general content sprawl. Fortunately, several forces have teamed up to solve massive tag sprawl problem.

Many site users have little or absolutely no idea what a tag sprawl is. In simple terms, it is the unchecked growth of unique, user-contributed tags that result in a lot of duplicate pages and unnecessary crawl space. It creates URLs of pages appearing to exist for the sole purpose of building an index across a complete range of keywords. The approach is an efficient solution for small blog sites but not the big ones like the e-commerce sites, which heavily depend on tags for products categorization. Users maximize on tag placement in an attempt to optimize exposure of their products.

To correct tag sprawl, useful review of each tag in the database and placing them in groups so that further action can be taken is paramount. The process starts with the determination of the quality of a tag and followed by finding out if there is another tag similar to it that has a higher quality. These tags could either be good tags or bad tags based on the numerous methods that could be used. The methods assist in the determination of whether the tag is valuable or in the identification of other tags that are valuable.

Some of these methods include spell correction feature, which utilizes built-in spell checkers and enables the fixing of large volumes of issues and bid value feature, which assists in determining whether a tag is commercially viable. In addition, the tag search volume method seeks to know the potential value of a tag while unique visitors feature helps protect tags that receive traffic from Google.

The tag count function is used to count the number of time a tag was used on the site while Porter stemming is used to identify the root word from a tag. Other methods include lemmatization that maps the tag to a dictionary form; Jaccard index that uses similarity coefficient; Jaro-Winkler distance that measures the difficulty of changing one word to another. Keyword planner grouping method is also common, and it helps identify highly related words while Wikipedia disambiguation feature assists in the determination of the master term to represent related terms.