Tags Gone Wild

I am starting to get really pissed off about the crazy shit happening in the tag listings here at WordPress.

I like to check the listings for tags I use to try and find other blog posts on the subjects I’ve written about. In doing so last week, I discovered that several of my posts had never been listed at all.

I did a little poking around and found out that if you use “too many” tags, your post might not get listed. Trouble is, no-one (and this includes staff) seems to know the magic number that will boot you from the listings. They say you shouldn’t use more than twelve or so (that includes tags and categories combined) but that’s not a hard and fast rule. We’re supposed to just keep in mind that the more tags we use in a post, the less likely that post will be listed.

Vague enough for ya?

So I go back and remove some of the tags from the posts that hadn’t been listed and, voila! The posts are listed. Problem solved, right? Hell no!

In Texas-shaped Patriotism, I used the following ten categories and tags (count them if you like):

Posted in Society | Edit |
Tags: Texans, Texas, majorities, patriotism, passports, Lone Star flag, Texas driver’s license, Bible Belt, redneck

And it was a no-show. ::sigh:: I thought about it and wondered if we’re not allowed to use similar terms. I decided to experiment by removing “Texans” and guess what happened? The post immediately appeared in the listings.

I thought I’d better check up on the last few posts I’d made, and it’s a good thing I did. No Staying Power wasn’t listed either. These are the tags I used in that post:

Posted in Education, Feminism, Relationships, Society | Edit | Comments Off
Tags: abuse, aftermath, domestic abuse, domestic violence, evil, healing

I thought, “Well shit!” So I removed “abuse” and do you know happened then? You go it! Bam! It made the listing. It seems that WordPress finds the term “abuse” redundant amongst the others I used.

I take particular issue with this because these are all relevant terms and do not necessarily refer to the same thing. Domestic abuse isn’t necessarily violent, and abuse, in general, isn’t necessarily domestic.

This tag policing is really pissing me off. Really!

OK, now check this one out. In Thank You, Michael! I used these tags:

Posted in Love, Relationships, Society | Edit | 3 Comments »
Tags: compassion, marriage, my sexy husband, support

Another no-show. It’s not even listed under “my sexy husband”, a tag that I started and where you can find every other post I’ve written to or about Mike.

Do You Remember These?
appears to have shown up under some of the tags, but not others:

Posted in Music, On A Positive Note, The Lighter Side | Edit |
Tags: childhood, happiness, memories, nostalgia, Statler Brothers

Upon further investigation, I discovered that it was listed under a couple of tags, but terribly misplaced. It was listed under posts that had been made five months ago or more. That sucks! If it’s not a busy tag, it might appear on the first page anyway. But what if it’s one of the fast moving tag listings, and getting stuck under a post from five months ago lands you on page 247 or something?

This is total BS! – Bulldog

My final grievance is as follows:

They claim that limiting us to twelve tags (or however many at any given moment in time) is to guard against spamming. That doesn’t even make sense. What the fuck difference does it make if my one little post is listed under twenty or more different tags?

I’ll tell you what the WordPress people need to be guarding against: these jerk-offs who make twenty or thirty post (sometimes more) inside an hour or two (sometimes the same post with variations in the title) and list them all under one tag, taking over the entire first page or two of a tag listing!

That, my friend, is spamming.

They’ve got it all backwards, you see. Instead of worrying about how many tags we use per post, they ought be worrying about how many posts we make per tag (within a specified time frame).

I’m sending a link to this post to our wonderful WordPress people. I do appreciate their hard work and dedication to providing such a lovely place for me to vent my frustrations. But, come one guys! This is ridiculous!

7 responses to “Tags Gone Wild

  • Lottie

    I received this response on the forums. It doesn’t really address the problem itself, though. It seems more to dismiss it as not being a problem, although others have commented that they’re experiencing the same trouble:

    tellyworth Key Master July 21st, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    mikesgirl, I see your post right at the top of the Grievance tag: http://wordpress.com/tag/grievance/ and at appropriate places elsewhere. Likewise for others above.

    I replied:

    mikesgirl Member July 21st, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Some of them appeared after I fiddled with the tags. Why can’t I use “abuse” in conjunction with “domestic abuse” and “domestic violence” or “Texans” and “Texas” on the same post?

    As to the rest, they were still not there this morning when I made my post about it. Why does it take several days for some posts to be listed while others appear right away?

    Also, I’m wondering if anyone in charge has read my post? I have a “final grievance” toward the bottom of it. I sent a link to it via the contact/complaint form.

    By the way, like I say at the end of my post, I appreciate everything you guys do here. I love WordPress! This particular bug (if that’s what it is) has just been driving me crazy for several days. And I know I’m not the only one experiencing the problem.


  • Lottie

    I just received an email. It was the usual canned response to this problem:

    Hi there,

    Please see this page of our FAQ for a list of potential reasons why your post is not displaying in the public tag results. One or more of these items is likely the cause of the issue you’re encountering:


    Also note that multiple attempts to push a post to the top of the tag results by changing the publication date could also be the cause.

    Automattic | WordPress.com

    Well, I don’t change the date on my posts to bump them, and none of the things in the list apply to me, so now what?

    I wrote back telling him that and will continue to post the correspondence here.

  • leftywritey

    Thank you for this post!

    I was noticing the same problem with a post I recently made that is very dear to my heart — saving the wild mustang herds. I had been given the advice that one can never have too many tags, when it comes to posts being found on the major search engines.

    I then experiemented with this theory by putting thirty or more tags on my mustang post, only for it, to my puzzlement, not to show up on the wordpress tag list.

    If I hadn’t read this post of yours, I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea what was happening.

    THANK YOU! : )

    Off I go to trim the tags on that post!


  • Lottie

    Cool! Glad to know it helped. 😀

  • leftywritey

    Hi Lottie!

    I removed some of the tags on my mustang post, but still have a lot left — I may be confused because I’m new at blogging, but I’m thinking that, tag-wise, it seems one can remove some and show up on the wordpress tag list, or leave them, not show up on wordpress as easily, but show up on the major search engines.

    I opted for the post to show up more easily on search engines, since the wild horse cause is much bigger than wordpress.

    Again, thank you so much, Lottie, for your post on this subject! : ) It’s a big help.


  • Lottie

    I opted for the post to show up more easily on search engines, since the wild horse cause is much bigger than wordpress.

    That’s something to consider too. I’ll keep it in mind.

    Thanks for stopping by again. I’ll check out your blog later tonight when I have more time.

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