A tag cloud, or sometimes also referred to as a word cloud, is a visual representation or a navigation tool used to visualize the content of a blog or website.
In more technical terms, it is an arbitrary arrangement of keywords displayed on the blog to help viewers search content easily and to help search engine bots classify the site.
A tag cloud typically looks like this –
When you see such a tag cloud, you will find that all the tags are linked to specific content pages.
In short, a tag is a keyword in a link.
Historic Significance of Tag Cloud
The use of tag clouds arose in the early 2000 for Web 2.0 blogs and websites. Flickr, Technorati and Del.icio.us were among the first high profile domains to use tag clouds. They are known as “mullets of the Internet” or “keyword cloud”.
However, after few years, its use started declining because of its ambivalence usage and benefits.
Types of Tag And Word Clouds
There are three kinds of tag cloud:
Here, the frequency is counted as the number of times a single tag is applied to a single item.
Here, the popularity is counted according to the number of times a single tag is applied to multiple posts.
For instance, if I use the tag “small business” on hundred blog posts, the tag will appear bolder on the tag cloud display.
Tag as Categories
Bloggers using the Blogger platform will know that every tag added is counted as category. You will see that many Blogger-based blogs have huge ‘category’ listing.
How To Add Tag Clouds?
If you are using Blogger platform, every tag added while writing a blog post is displayed on the blog page’s sidebar as categories.
If you are using WordPress, check out the widget section. You have “Add Tags”. Just pull it on the right-side and it will be active.
If you don’t want to add tag clouds directly, there are three alternatives. Here are they:
Popular Posts Plugin
Use the ‘popular posts’ plugin which will add the most popular posts on your blog on the blog sidebar. This list will help visitors to navigate around.
Related Posts Plugin
Use the ‘related posts’ plugin to show similar posts at the end of each blog post. It is an awesome way to direct users to similar content in the same niche.
You can choose to display ‘categories’ in the sidebar so the visitor knows what all niches you deal with and what to expect from the blog.
What is your take in adding tag cloud?