A blog tag is a pre-filled search that only searches for other coincident tags, so it filters, facilitates, and focuses the navigation.
Let’s say I have a cuisine blog. My posts are these:
Classic panna cotta with raspberry coulant. Tags: Italian, dessert, recipe, recipes with oven.
Seafood paella. Tags: Spanish, rice, seafood, recipe.
How to easily clean an oven. Tags: oven, tricks.
Coca de recapte. Tags: Spanish, Catalan, recipe, recipes with oven.
Ensaimada. Tags: Spanish, dessert, recipe, recipes with oven.
Then someone lands on the Ensaimada post, likes it and wants to know more about my desserts. He/she just has to click on the ‘desserts’ tag to get every dessert I’ve posted. I could also make alternative recipes without milk for those lactose-intolerant people, so I could add ‘lactose-intolerant friendly’ to the existing tags in all those which apply, so clicking on it would filter my posts by that term, making my visitors more engaged and facilitating and tailoring the navigation to their preferences. Or ‘European desserts’, or ‘Desserts with oven’, or…
This is different than making a search, because tags only search for other coincident tags. Even more so, if the visitor wants to make a search maybe he/she doesn’t know what specific terms I have chosen, and it also prevents false positives. Following my example:
- ‘Recipes with oven’ is a tag that when clicked only searches which posts share the same tag; however with a search, if I’ve written ‘recipes’, ‘with’ and ‘oven’ in my post about How to easily clean an oven, it may appear in the standard search results.
- Coca de recapte is a baked flat dough with anchovies, pepper and aubergine on top. It clearly shares a common ancestor with the Italian pizza. However, if I mention ‘Italy’ or ‘Italian’ in my text, the Coca post would appear when searching for Italian food, which it is not.
(I’m not an avid reader of blogs, but I’m working on updating this clunky behemoth of a blog La Eduteca; it’s in Spanish but you can see here a lot of tags at the bottom (Primary Education, 1st grade Spanish, 2nd grade Spanish… and so on) that help teachers and educators find more related content.)
Hope this helps!
PS. I’ve found this blog to help me illustrate, Simply Recipes, that has both tags and an elegant ‘filter by tag’ bar that is probably out of scope, but I hope it aids my point get across. (Tags by themselves as I’ve explained them above would be enough for starters.)