One for the pro's: I removed tags from all pages. But will they still "count"? (12 posts)

  1. andreassaag
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I was tired of my huge lists of tags being often bigger than the post itself and i wanted to hide their visibility from the main page, the single post page and the archives. Thus I deleted the code

    <?php the_tags('Tags: ', ', ', '<br />'); ?>

    from indes.php, single,php and archive.php

    My question now is: Will the tags on a post still "matter"? Will they trigger search engines and get me more visitors?

    I'd really hate it if this means i have disabled tags entirely.

  2. jonathanstegall
    Posted 5 years ago #

    You certainly haven't disabled tags entirely unless you don't see them in the Add Post screen. You'll still be able to assign tags to a post anytime you like. However, if the list doesn't appear in the single post/archives pages, there's nothing to make them visually appear in your site and thus nothing to give them value for search engines or users. So no, they won't matter unless you choose to do something else with them.

  3. andreassaag
    Posted 5 years ago #

    aha so this means that if i hide tags on all the pages then they're useless anyway?

    would there be any way at all to hide your tags entirely and still have lots of hits because of them?

  4. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 5 years ago #

    No. You will only get search engine referrals from content that is actually on your page.

  5. WP Voyager
    Posted 5 years ago #

    @andreassaag: You might be able to hide the tags with CSS.

    Put the code back in, and then frame it with a Div tag. Give the Div a custom class (so that it can be CSS styled), so that the whole set-up looks like this:

    <div class="noshow"><?php the_tags('Tags: ', ', ', '<br />'); ?></div>

    Then, add the following style information to your style.css file:

    .noshow {visibility:hidden;}

    The tags will still be on your page, but they won't take up space because they are invisible!

  6. andreassaag
    Posted 5 years ago #

    WOW that's awesome! :) thanks a lot bro!
    I seems like the tags do take up space this way even if not visible. watch after the first post between "share on facebook" and "posted in"


    I'm thinking there should be a way to add a tiny, tiny font size for this new noshow-class of mine. Please teach me :)

  7. andreassaag
    Posted 5 years ago #

    ok nevermind this was so easy even i could figure it out... :) but for the n00b record:

    .noshow {visibility:hidden; font-size: 0.01% }

    is now in my style.css

  8. WP Voyager
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Ah, yes you are correct. The "space" will still be there even when the object is invisible.

    I'm sure that the font size will work for the most part, though some browsers allow the user to specify minimum font size. If this option were set, it might force the text to be bigger.

    This is something I don't know! :-)
    Anyone know whether the browser forcing font-size will be an issue?

  9. jonathanstegall
    Posted 5 years ago #

    It's really sketchy to have things in your code like tags without showing them to the user. Search engines won't necessarily blacklist you for it, but it's not a good SEO practice to follow and they have been known to penalize folks for doing it.

  10. WP Voyager
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Yeah, I was just wondering about the ethical implications of all this.

    Well, another idea to minimize the space taken up by the tags is to have a "tag compartment" that can open and close using jQuery (or simpler javascript). You could set up the code to hide the tags by default, but let the user click on a disclosure button to display them.

    Using this method, the tags would still be on your page (allowing you to reap the SEO benefits), not taking up all the room (giving you space benefits), and it would still be possible for users to view them (minimizing the appearance of "sketchiness").

    As for the exact code, there are a few themes that do this internally (Ahimsa comes to mind, and I'm sure there are others), so you might be able to figure out the code there. Also, if you don't want to hard-code it, there is a plugin that might work for this purpose: Collapsing Objects.
    Note: I have not tested this plugin, so I am not guaranteeing its results.

    All of that information should help make your tags more ethical :-)

    --MindBlender 3D

    P.S. @jonathanstegall: Are you sure that invisible tags are frowned upon like that? What about the META keyword tags of yore? Weren't they invisible also? Or is that the reason Search Engines are moving away from them? Not saying that you're wrong (actually, I kind of agree about the whole "invisible object" thing. It certainly might appear sketchy), but I would like to see your source on this. Thanks.

  11. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 5 years ago #

    If you're using using display:none; or offscreen absolute positioning to insert search engine spam, then you could get penalised. I've known of sites that have been reported for using this kind of black hat SEO (might even have reported a few myself before now).

    But, conversely, offscreen absolute positioning is also a recommended technique for enhancing web accessibility levels. So these things have to be looked at in context. It's about what you're "hiding" from graphical browsers and why.

    FWIW, I wouldn't class hiding tags as any kind of accessibility enhancement. Hiding a text site title becuase you're using a graphical CSS header background, on the other hand, does offer definite access benefits.

  12. jonathanstegall
    Posted 5 years ago #

    @MindBlender 3D: Yes, I'm sure that invisible tags are frowned upon, unless it's in the case of something like replacing text with images, as @esmi mentions. You can hide the text, or move it offscreen (much better), to keep things accessible to search engines and devices like screenreaders. This is also the case for expanding/collapsing functonality with jQuery, for example.

    As for meta keywords, search engines moved away from those because sites in the 90s would stuff the keywords tag with hundreds of keywords, many of which were not relevant. So for example, the potential (at least) existed for me to make a site about cats, and stuff it with keywords about politics, and rank highly for politics.

    Google doesn't read the keywords tag at all. I don't think Bing or Yahoo do either, but there are some search engines that still do, but no one gives much weight to them because of that potential for abuse.

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