In a recent Twitter chat many have wondered if Tags are needed in their WordPress blog and what they are used for, does it really improve your Google SERP to have WordPress tags on every article and will it help or benefit you?
My advice comes from only my experience, but WordPress tags (and categories) to me are used for navigation, provided links to similar information that readers may be interested in. Google itself is smart enough not to give any weight to ranking based on WordPress tags just like it doesn’t use Keywords for factoring ranking. This is because it would be too easy to keyword stuff tags and throw off the SERP algorithms if you could just simply put 10 keywords related to your post niche in tags and have it rank better.
Google SERP depends on your CONTENT pertaining to your keyword topic and appropriately having the keywords in fluid sentences in your content. This is why you should use a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast which will analyze your article to show you how you can optimize it for SEO.
The rules of SEO change every time Google does an update, but one thing that will not likely change is that your content must be information rich, provide value to readers and this will be the single most important factor in your ranking. Links, comments, backlinks will all start to lose value only further enforcing that your content is key.
Even guest blogging will become less and less valuable over time as Google starts shifting algorithms more toward social media and real time awareness letting more recent relevant articles gain preference in SERP over older ones where the info may be stale that just happened to rank better due to their age and PR increase over time.
Use tags to help readers find similar topics, like references for similar information but consider them as navigational tools in my opinion. Share your opinion if you think tags still provide value or benefit to SERP or you have information that may contradict my opinion here, I don’t claim to be an SEO expert but speak only from my own blogging experience over the past 4 years.