Categories vs tags

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    I understand the basic idea around categories but I was just wondering what sets them apart from tags. I assume you should have fewer categories than tags. But could you have the same words for tags and categories in the same blog post or should that be avoided?

    The blog I need help with is



    Think of tags as ‘keywords’ for you blog post. Having a balanced number of tags in a post is the way to go according to Google, (in other words do not over do it with a million tags).
    If you had for example a post about ‘Sunny weather in the Med’, you categories could be ‘Med’, ‘Weather’, while your tags would use keywords from the actual content/copy of your post. These could be ‘sunny’ ‘walking’, (or other main keywords you used in your content).
    There is no rule against using the same tag/s with your Categories, but tags could help broaden your subject when someone is searching for content, (thus using relevant tags to content is key here).
    Finding out how many tags you could use, would also depend on the word count of your post as well, (a huge post could obviously do with more tags).
    Using tags is not a set rule. Having at least one category attached to your post is required however.
    Here is a handy guide do understand more the difference between categories vs tags.


    Thanks a lot, very useful.

    Had become aware that you can overdo it with too many tags and you can actually then make it harder for your piece to be found by search engines and reader?

    Does the tags and categories both allows yous post to be displayed in the reader as well as search engines?



    Yes. Categories and Tags lead to create archive pages and thus acts as a point of reach to posts of certain topic from search engines. You might not want to repeat categories as tags and vice versa. Also, make sure that tags you are creating will continue to have more posts under it in future otherwise you will end up generating archive page for each tag with a single post under it. It is more of a SEO practice to create tags that can serve for more number of posts.

    Hope this helps.



    Glad this helped you.
    Tags and categories do get displayed under their relevant content in the Reader. Creating topics with previously used Categories, (as pratikakkawar mentions above), is recommended – this is, after all the point/meaning of creating Categories and tags as well.



    It’s important that you read this support doc closely

    The classic mistakes new bloggers make are:

    • assigning too many categories and tags
    • assigning irrelevant categories and tags

    Doing either or both of those results in search engines assuming you are a spamdexer or tag spammer and that means your content will be indexed and displayed in search results where the sun don’t shine.

    The rule of thumb is to assign to your posts the least, not the most, combined number of only relevant categories and tags that accurately describe the individual post content. And, you never assign the same keyword or keyword phrase as both a category and a tag.


    Many thanks @timechief and for pointing out that tags and categories can’t be the same. It makes sense. I’m not new to blogging but have recently moved from Blogger to WordPress.

    In your experience what would you say is the right number of tags in let’s say a 500-word blog? I would say around 5 and maybe 2 categories.

    Just trying to figure out if I’m being picked up on search engines. At the moment just under 50% of my traffic comes from search engines. Does that sound about right?



    I am not timechief. That username was one an imposter used to try an impersonate me with here.

    Tags and categories are assigned to post not to sites and not to pages. Scroll down to Quick Tips for Selecting Categories and Tags here


    Sorry about that, typo from my side.

    Many thanks for the link, very helpful.


    By the way to make sure there are several other posts about the categories I’m adding, how do I search for them in the reader apart from adding them as tags I follow?



    Hi @agreenerlifeagreenerworld, popular tags and categories can both show up here:

    This includes popular categories and tags. Since categories are often used more for site organization, and topics are often associated with tags, we call it tags here.

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