Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tags - the New Craze behind the "Future" of Marketing, Searching and Advertising?

Well maybe.

We once labeled our pictures and files for our own personal use but now that is in the process of changing. What we label things or "tag" them may have relevance in the world of online marketing. Content developers and end user descriptions (tags) are becoming more of an option for search engines, news outlets, and other online media to utilize as a way to search and link to other related content.

Sites like Flickr and del.icio.us are examples of the creative and effective use of tags. Both of these sites offer users the option to search for related content by words that are tagged to those items by the clients themselves. For instance, on Flicker search for pictures of dogs or I-pods and you will find public pictures from users that they have them labeled as such. On del.icio.us users are provided with links that others have saved while searching for the same topic. In essence, they allow users to share bookmarks and provide search results based on these bookmarks.

"Tagging" seems a natural enhancement or compliment to a search. Currently papers and news outlets are now in the process of incorporating tags in their web-blogs and trying to feel out if people are catching on. Web communities have also tied in a 'free-form' keyword system that allows writers to categorize their posts in hopes of contributing to the tagging phenomenon. As tagging grows, it is believed that search engines will soon add this feature to their sites, quite possibly allowing advertisers to buy keywords. For now it's still in the growing process.

In a way, tagging could be viewed as the rebirth of the "metatag" and possibly nothing more than an over-hyped fade. It could become a great means for search platforms to determine relevancy or it will become a spammer's delight. Only the future will tell.