Tags vs. Categories

I’m not into this tagging business. It works well for sites like Technorati, but I think for sites that aren’t social networks or bookmarking sites, tags don’t do the job. When I launched the new design of this place, it came with tags instead of categories. Research indicated that tags were the way to go.
Some days we remember tag words and other days we forget them. Therefore, when you want to retrieve a post using tags instead of search … it’s a matter of selecting the right tag that you used in the post. I’d like to go back to categories, but that would make a mess. Besides, what you think is more important.
Tags, I believe, are best used when interacting with other sites. For example, a blog uses tags so readers can search the web or a social site for more posts on a specific keyword. But to find something within a person’s site — categories work better.
What is your preference? Why?

2 thoughts on “Tags vs. Categories”

  1. FWIW: I use tags and categories on my site. The tags on each post link to an intra-site search (instead of to a social site like Technorati). It takes a bit more effort when I make a post, but it’s tremendously increased my pages-per-visit rate and my SERP visibility.

  2. I have experimented with various tags and categories on my humble blog. I have a set of categories which I’m going to carry on for now. I have decided to manually maintain a list of general tags in the sidebar that does not contain every tag I’ve ever used. That will allow me to tag some posts very specifically for Technorati to pick up while not cluttering up my tag list any more than it already is.

    I have thought of not even having the tag list. However, it is one more portal through which people can find their way into the archives.

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