Marketing 2 min read

Google's Mueller on Whether Tags Impact Search Ranking

Joseph Mucira /

Joseph Mucira /

In a recent episode of Google SEO office hours, John Mueller discusses the impact of tags on search ranking.

It’s common to find tags at the beginning or end of an article. Sometimes, you may find the link elsewhere, along the right or left hand of the page.

Regardless of their location on a web page, tags have a simple function — navigation.

Websites usually organize content to enable users to navigate through topics of interest quickly. Besides creating categories in the menu navigation system, site owners also use tags for this purpose.

A tag-related question popped up in a recent episode of Google SEO office hours. The individual wanted to know whether there’s any benefit to using multiple categories and tags for articles.

The question reads:

“The post category and post tag; does it have any impact on ranking of the blog posts?”

Here’s Mueller’s response.

How Does Article Category and Tags Impact Search Ranking?

The Webmaster Trend Analyst downplayed any SEO benefit of using tags and categories in your post.

Mueller admitted that tags could help Google’s crawler find more web pages about similar topics. “…that could be another page that we could index or that we could use to pick up links to your articles,” he said.

Then, Mueller debunked the myth that tags have a positive impact on search ranking.

His explanation reads:

“So it’s not that there’s any inherent… magic around tags. It’s just… it creates more links and more pages within your site.”

Simply put, tags are useful for finding content that may be buried within the category menu structure.

In the past, bloggers linked to other articles — within their site — using keywords in the tags. At the time, the goal was to influence search engines to rank those articles for the keywords used in the tag.

However, the site owners often ended up with too many thin pages. As a result, the practice of using tags to interlink content is declining.

Watch the full video here:

Read More: A Quick Look at the new Google Passage Ranking

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

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