The Huffington Post’s Kim Kardashian Tag-o-Rama

Kim Kardashian W Magazine photoWhile on The Huffington Post yesterday I couldn’t help but notice the large number of tags they’d added to a couple posts on the Kim Kardashian photos in W Magazine, and the rather “interesting” terms being targeted.

First on Kim Kardashian: W Magazine Showed ‘Full On Nipple’:

The Huffington Post - Kim Kardashian W Magazine blog tags

Then a link in that article led me to Kim Kardashian Goes NUDE For W Magazine:

The Huffington Post - Kim Kardashian blog tags

That’s when the full-on tag-o-rama began.

In case you’re counting that’s 47 blog tags between the two posts targeting some pretty amusing terms. Can all those tags really help? In a word: no.

As I covered in my post on blog tag optimization this type of over-tagging has little SEO benefit and in the extreme it can even be a negative.

It’s certainly not helpful for users either. In the second post above the tags take up almost as much space as the actual editorial content. At best that’s a distraction; at worst it looks spammy.

The Huffington Post is a strong enough domain and brand to overcome the SEO and usability issues, but not every site is.

So my advice: take it easy on those blog tags.

Comments

  1. This over-tagging issue came to my attention again yesterday.

    What makes me wonder about this practice is why is it working? They are showing up in search results for both the main article and the aggregated “news” page containing the search phrase.

    Take the Denny’s pot story for example that ran on May 29th.

    Here is the main article url: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/pay-for-dinner-with-marijuana-pot-dennys-new-york_n_1552408.html

    Again, there are an overabundance of tags appearing in orange. When you click on one of these tags (for example the anchor text: “Tries to Pay for Meal With Weed”), the page that loads contains a custom url with the search phrase (“Tries to Pay for Meal with Weed”) appearing in both the url, the title tag and the .

    This is the aforementioned custom url: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/tries-to-pay-for-meal-with-weed
    If you search for the phrase “Tries to pay for meal with weed”, you can see both the main story and the news aggregated story, or the /news/ url, in search results.

    The tagging saga continues on this page: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/tries-to-pay-for-meal-with-weed
    You can click on the anchor text again of “Tries to Pay for Meal with Weed” and get this url structure: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/tries-to-pay-for-meal-with-weed

    Note the /tag/ in the second url vs. the /news/ in the first.

    I am completely fine with HuffPo aggregating /news/ content that makes sense. In the main article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/pay-for-dinner-with-marijuana-pot-dennys-new-york_n_1552408.html…..Yes, a /news/ section for Weird News makes logical sense.

    I am surprised this is working for them. Maybe not since they are such a large website with a big following. But I don’t even understand their rel=canonical process. Why would they include rel=canonical on the /news/ and the /tag/ pages for the /news/ and /tag/ versions of “Tries to Pay for Meal with Weed”?

    Wouldn’t they be best served by putting the canonical element on the main article, and then including the canonical link to the main article on their /news/ and /tag/ pages?

    Sorry for the long post. But it’s been on my mind. Seems like they were initially going for helping out the user with related tags but then went crazy overboard for SEO.

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