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Recently we discussed how to use tags internally on your blog with examples of *self-hosted blogs, *blogspot blogs and *wordpress.com blogs. Did you know that you can also increase your traffic driven to your blog or website by harnessing the power of the “tag”?

Today I want to approach something which I personally have been neglecting with this blog so far:  external tags.  Specifically — technorati tags.

Keeping in tune with the idea of increasing your findability and reaching people who are seeking the very information you have to offer (in contrast to you searching potential readers and saying “here I am! come and read/vote/befriend me!”–which takes up loads of your time and comes across as very spammy), let’s have a look at what you can accomplish with technorati tags.

Tagging for Technorati

If you are not familiar with technorati, please click here to go there. In the words of Technorati, “It is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere — the world of weblogs.”

It is a tool that people who read and publish weblogs use to find things. It can also be used by weblog publishers, like you and me, to help those who are searching for information.  The way this works is through the use of tags. A tag is like a subject or category (for more information on tags, please read part one: How to use tags–a lesson in organization) . By tagging the post in your blog you are helping people that are searching for that tag to find you.

If you go to have a look at the technorati tags page, you will see by size (largest is has the most posts tagged with that term):  today’s hot tags were weblog, life, music, news, blogging… you get the picture.

Over at the technorati tag help page, you will discover the easy directions of “how to contribute to technorati tags” and notice that there are two ways to particpate and leverage the technorati tag system:

  • If your blog software supports categories and RSS/Atom feeds (like Movable Type, WordPress, TypePad, Blogware, Radio), just use the included category system and make sure you are publishing RSS/Atom feeds and your categories will be read as tags.
  • If your blog software doesn’t support categories or you’re not sure, you can still participate. To associate a post with a Technorati Tag all you have to do is tag your post by including a special link in the body of your post. Please note that two word tags should be joined by a “+”.  For examples please go to the technorati tag help page.

* note:  to be really effectiv with technorati tags, you must ensure that your blog or web site is pinging technorati regularily… a topic which I will cover soon.

So have a look at some examples of technorati tags:

And here is the beauty of it all:  now that I have place the above tags on this post, if someone is looking for those tags they will see an entry to this page there.

Notice how I did not go and find these people, they were looking for the tags (or keywords!) I produced for search engine leverage.  This is actually continuing our conversations about syndication — this time not via feeds, but via tags.

Tell me about your experience with tags:  are you generating hits by using the right tags?  Are you finding what you are looking for by using tags?  Are you lost when I mention the word?  Or what other search engines do you like to use for tag searching?  Let’s talk about it, meet you in the comments.