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Blog: Tag Cloud Quickie

Graham Weldon

05 November, 2008

Are tag clouds really useful? Do people actually use them? Are we ditching the traditional search and find mechanisms for this messy block of varying font sizes and word lengths? Personally I don't like them, and I rarely if ever find myself using one.

It has made me consider whether I really want to include one on this new site. They are so widespread now that I had kinda included it in my development plans without really giving it the planning required to determine if such a feature was required, or even desired. Are they used by the common user? Or are they just the "Web 2.x" way of spamming keywords to get better search engine ranking?

I'd really love peoples thoughts on this one. I am sure people will defend the messy tag cloud to the death. But some opinions from developers and designers alike would be great. Search Engine Optimisation gone crazy, is what I think of Tag clouds, and I'm extremely reluctant to include this dizzying array of alternating font sizes and word lengths on the side of what is thus far a reasonably well designed and consistent looking website.

Any thoughts?