Have you seen clouds of words on websites? These clouds of words are called tag cloud. It is a visual representation of text data used to depict keyword metadata on websites. These tags are usually single words and importance of each tag is shown with differences in font size or color. Tag clouds are usually represented using inline HTML elements.
This type of visual description is helpful in getting the most important terms and for locating a term alphabetically to determine its relative importance.
Do you know how the tag clouds appear? They are represented using inline HTML elements. The tags will appear in different formats such as in alphabetic order or in a random order and they are sorted by weight. When compared to conventional navigation process a tag cloud doesn’t provide a convenient navigation. However if you are using it properly, it can provide more visitors to your site by illustrating the main topics. The main advantage of tag cloud is its ability to highlight the most important or popular subjects dynamically. Another important fact about tag cloud is that, it provides users additional clue about the contents of the site.
We can have different arrangements for tag cloud such as rectangular, oval, circle etc. Most commonly, rectangular tag arrangement is used. In this the tags are arranged in a sequential manner and have alphabetical sorting. In this also the most important terms are highlighted.
Let us see the types of tag cloud
There are many ways to implement a tag cloud. Some methods are more popular than others. But primarily they are sorted alphabetically.
- Tags sorted alphabetically: The most important and frequent tags are highlighted with an appropriate font size. In this all the terms have the same size and weight. But the most important terms are highlighted with a font color or background color.
- Tags sorted according to their importance or frequency: In this case both font size and color can be used to highlight the importance of terms.
- Tags sorted according to their similarity: Here, similar terms appear next to each other.
Different types of tag cloud
Now let us see the three different types of tag cloud.
- In this type, size represents the number of times the tag has been used for a single item.
- In the second type, size represents the number of items to which the tag has been applied. This is the most commonly used type. This type shows the popularity of each tag.
- The third type is used as a categorization method for content items. In this the larger tags represent the quality of contents.
In the recent years, tag clouds play an important role in Search Engine Marketing. Because tag clouds will catch the attention of the users more easily. If your tag cloud represents the keywords in your website, then the visitors can easily get the contents of that particular webpage. In order to cluster the tags, we can reduce the size by using Heuristics. But larger tags attract more visitors than smaller tags. Tags in the middle of the cluster are more highlighted than at the borders. So the most important tags are given at the center.