When you upload content to Land Surveyors United, whether it be a photo, video or discussion, it is very important to add relevant content tags to that content, for the reasons I will talk about today. Adding tags to content will allow for that content to not only become classified amongst other related content, but will ultimately allow for that contant to be found when another surveyor searches for the related subject. Tags are simply words which allow classification of information, not just by subject, but far more deeply, and the Internet has allowed a free form of tagging to develop, not using a list of permitted terms, but allowing users to add their own tags. This means that a wide variety of tags may be used to describe one particular idea or even an image, which has both pros and cons.
For instance, you may tag a surveying document that you just uploaded to LSU with a certain set of keywords like "document, surveying,how-to,tutorial", whilst another person sees it entirely differently and uses different tags (or even tags in a different language) to describe the information given in the document. For example another surveyor might tag that same document with "helpful, methods, old school, practice, etc." This means that the number of keywords relating to that document is higher, and hence the potential audience who will find it is broader. Tags are always entered in as a subject followed by a comma and a space-then another subject, as demonstrated below.
Land Surveyors United allows members to add their own tags to the content which they contribute, much the same way that you can on flickr if you want for your photo to show up in search on Flickr for a photo, Youtube for a video, or even Amazon for a book, user-generated tags will be part of the mix in the results you get. Thus, if you ever want for your content to show up when another member searches for that subject, you must add the subject tags to that content. Otherwise, it will never show up in search result and therefore will never be found, much less become helpful to other surveyors. Think of 'tags' as social bookmarks.These 'social bookmarks' make it possible to find items that have been classified by others who may use keywords and terms you are familiar with, but which may not be included in the text of the document, or the image. Here are the types of tags which you can add to all content contributed to the network, based on level of importance:
- The most important tag is the Title Tag. It should be relevant and catchy. Add titles that you would click on yourself.
- The second most important is the Location tag. All content on LSU is relevant to the location that it is added from, therefore, add locations too.
- Equally important to the Location tag is the Actual Content Tags. These tags are anything related to the subject matter of that particular piece of content.Add as many tags to a piece of content as you like. It is a good idea to add tags which are also relevant (and included within) to the description that you added to the content.
Take the tag 'surveyor' is an example. A funny photo of a surveyor at work may not in itself include the word 'surveyor' but it is obvious to all who see it that it would fall into the category 'surveyor'. You would add this tag to a photo which has included within it the image of an actual surveyor. Likewise, if that surveyor is using a Sokkia Total Station and the picture was taken in Japan, you would include such tags as "surveyor, total station,sokkia,japan,work."
Yet another example is when tagging is used, as was the case with academic papers and tutorial documents, to describe content in a succinct, and therefore easily indexable manner. For instance, this article could include the tags:
tagging, tags, keywords, social bookmarks, surveyors, how-to, tutorial
But you might also add:
reference, important, classification, subjects, semantic web, search engine optimization, folksonomies
Although one of the latter terms are actually included in the article but all are relevant tags, and would mean that those searching on those particular keywords could then find this article as well.
As a network built upon the idea of surveyors helping other surveyors through social support, it is important that all content on the network be properly tagged. This not only allows other members to actually find your helpful contributions, but also shows a relationship shared between that content and other content relating to the same subject. Tagging is now used extensively on the internet, and it is worth understanding that tags develop very quickly in response to cultural changes, buzz, news items etc. Finding which tags are generating a buzz means that you can include these tags as keywords on your site and generate more organic search results. Ultimately, the more relevant the tags are the more helpful that content will be because other members will easily find it. If you have content on Land Surveyors United such as photos, videos or articles, you can always go back to it and add relevant tags and titles.
We want our helpful content on LSU to last forever, even past our years so that future generations of land surveyors can learn from our tracks. Organic search is now extremely important as a source of traffic to any website, but it works best when you include as many related keywords, or tags, as possible in a cohesive manner on your contributions and content. This does not mean randomly scattering popular keywords around your site (as used to be the case with terms such as 'Paris Hilton'!), but by including the most popular terms relevant to your niche in your content. Remember to add as many tags as you like, as long as they are relevant. Non relevant tags are considered spam by search engines and will actually devalue your content to a certain degree.
Help the future generations of land surveyors keep tradition alive by taggin content on LSU for search. Think of it this way, if you were searching for what you just uploaded, what terms would you use? Add those terms to your content and watch it sore to the top of search!