View Full Version : Thread Tagging - What, How and Why you should care

06-15-2008, 05:11 PM
MiniBuggy.Net (MBN) thread tagging guide

What are Thread Tags?

Thread tagging is a system that allows user to apply their own keywords (tags) to threads. See Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_%28metadata%29) for more information on the ideas behind tagging. This can allow users to categorize threads based on the actual content. As such, if used consistently, could be a better way to find a specific topic than a full-text search.

What do vBulletin Thread Tags do specifically?

vBulletin Thread Tags help improve internal search results, index similar threads feature and improve search engine indexing of the site. Thread tags are similar to site html Meta tags. What's a Meta tag? A Meta tag is a word or group of words used to describe the content of a site. In recent years Meta tags have been abused to the point that most search engine “spiders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_spider)” tend to ignore them now. Thread Tags were born out of the so called “Blogosphere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blogosphere)” as content “tags (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_%28metadata%29)”; recently they have been incorporated into any number of content driven websites.

Why should you care about thread Tags?

As indicated previously, Thread Tags improve vBulletins internal search engine results. The largest benefit will be seen from the large search engine providers. The search engine spiders crawl and index the site on a constant basis. Even now Google, Yahoo and various other spiders are on the site “crawling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_spider)” and indexing the content. Searching for content via Google or Yahoo will be greatly affected by the quantity and quality of a sites content/thread tags. In other words, as Thread Tags are added to the site, search relevance will go up. Additionally the list of similar threads will be vastly improved by the affective use of Thread Tags.

How do Thread Tags work?

At the bottom of the each thread there is a box for Tags assigned to that thread. When starting a thread the Tag box is just below the editor. Tags can contain any character except a comma, which is used to separate multiple tags. Additionally, you may not create tags which:

Have less than an admin-specified amount of characters. The default is 3.
Have over 25 characters. (This is the default value. You may change it by changing the "Tag Maximum Length" option.)
Contain any censored words.
Are in a list of common words.

Thread Tagging is not important for the following sections which are not indexed by the vBulletin search engine for key words.

MiniBuggy.Net News
The Welcome Mat
The Joke Box
The Litter Box
Why is indexing off for the previously listed forums?

vBulletin utilizes search words to create the search word table. When a user search of the forum is performed for a specific word/s, the search engine actually searches the search word table then presents relevant posts/threads identified with those words. The search words table is one of the largest tables in the database. As such there is no reason to index “How many MBN members does it take to change a light bulb” or the latest rant that has been sent to the Litter Box. Remember the intent if the site is to provide an open dialogue and exchange of knowledge in all areas specific to the off road sand rail and buggy industry. Our main focus has traditionally been centered on buggy fabrication. However, with the growth of the site MBN has begun to be incorporated into an off road sand rail and buggy enthusiast community. Some members are only interested in modifying their buggy, “turnkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnkey)” USA or Chinese Off Road Buggy (CORB), and others may only be interested in enjoying a community of other like minded individuals. MBN has a place for all enthusiast no matter what their interest may be regarding the off road buggy industry.

Where is there an example of Thread Tags in use?

Look below this thread for an example of the tags related to the content of this post.

Why are you stealing K-Fab’s soap box?

I know this is not my box to stand on but I thought this was an important issue to bring to anyone’s attention that cares to read this diatribe of non-buggy related information. Some members are well versed in Web speak and the world of Web 2.0. Others are just users and have never been presented with the opportunity to understand why and how things work. Maybe they don’t care as long as it works right?

06-15-2008, 07:45 PM
Thank you. I have seen the tags on other sites and had thought that they were for exactly what you described them to be...... Glad to know my assumptions were correct!:D The tough part is going to be deciding what tags to use to describe any given topic.......To many tags and the thread will show up on the wrong search.....too few and it might be missed....[smilie=wacko.gif]

06-15-2008, 09:55 PM
Say, while we are on the subject of searches – does anybody else have an issue with the pull down box on the search feature? At first I thought maybe it was an IQ test – I must have failed.

Every time I use it, it runs and hides. Takes me about ten tries, each time, I type in one or two letters, then it hides, then 2 more. Thank goodness I am not searching for something long like – well, again, I am failing the IQ test.

06-15-2008, 10:07 PM
It does it to me as well. Never noticed because I always use the advanced search. I will look into setting the on-focus as permenant until the submit button is pressed. Report issues like this in my bug thread please...

Thanks for letting me know.

06-15-2008, 10:44 PM
Can I just search for that? :confused: "Bug thread" should only take me about 30 mins. (Just kidding here - great site; thanks for the effort. :) )