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I recently had a discussion about tag- and category pages in blogs and I'm currently thinking about dropping categories completely.

Are there any studies that analyze if/how users use categories and tags, especially when they are combined?

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I've read a lot on this in the past and, across numerous websites have tinkered between categories vs tags somewhat. I haven't really seen a study as such that drills down into the UX and visitor behaviour surrounding categories and tags but this piece is pretty good on the subject.

There is a great amount of web content on the subject, some of which is pretty uselss but here's various takes on the subject worth a read:-

And, here is what Matt Cutts from Google says on the subject.

Hope that helps.

  • I also spent quite some time reading my self in to the usage of tags and categories. Every source so far (including your links unfortunately) either describes the SEO purpose and/or describes, how tags/categories differ and how to use them when editing. Both have nothing to do with usability. None describe how the end-user benefits from them. Especially concerning tags. – uxfelix Jan 16 '14 at 12:08
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    I'm actually the owner of SEOSherpas and the author of the article that Geoff posted. My entire article focuses specifically on the end-user benefits (or lack thereof) of them. Yes, we go into detail about the SEO factors, but most of the article focuses on the end-user benefits. At the end, there's even a little snippet about how to implement them on your site in an SEO and end-user friendly way using some custom PHP. Hope that helps! – user40954 Jan 17 '14 at 12:55

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