Do Article Tags Matter? Maybe Not for Traffic, but Publishers are Using Them to Glean Insights
Like all Nieman Lab stories, the one you’re reading right now will be anchored by a handful of tags connected to the themes, people, and companies mentioned within. Theoretically, keywords like “tags,” “tagging,” “article tags,” and “metadata” would be helpful in directing people to this, or other, stories, about the mechanics of news discovery.
But do all publishers use article tags the same way we do? And do tags make any difference in attracting people to a website? A new report from analytics company Parse.ly found no statistical link between the use of tags and the amount of traffic a site received — but also saw publishers using tags in creative ways to help guide strategy. (Sites that use Parse.ly include The Atlantic, Slate, Mashable, Business Insider, The Globe and Mail, The New Republic, and Upworthy, among about 400 total.)