4 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2017 7:18 AM by mnevill

    How do tags play with search?

    stefaniesand Novice

      I had the pleasure of seeing Ted Hopton present a few days ago at JiveWorld17, and he said something almost in passing that my team and I have been wondering about ever since. Specifically, Ted said that a large number of tags on an item tends to diminish rather than enhance that item's prominence in spotlight search results. (I may be misstating exactly what Ted said. )


      In our community we're big proponents of heavy tagging, so I'm wondering if others can chime in on this. Are you finding that when an item has a lot of tags on it, it becomes less prominent in a spotlight search that uses the exact same search terms than the same item with a smaller number of tags? Has anyone done a formal study of this?

        • Re: How do tags play with search?
          Caton Guilbault Expert

          Hi Stefanie,


          We noticed tag uniqueness was the key for search placement. Basically tags are great if used sparingly with tight governance but if 100 docs all have the same tag its not helping any of them.

          4 people found this helpful
            • Re: How do tags play with search?
              stefaniesand Novice

              Thanks for your reply, Caton Guilbault! Perhaps we have a unique use case, but here's our situation.


              We have at least two distinct reasons for using tags. One is to do a sort by tag. The other is to improve search.


              We have entire spaces whose navigation is predicated on the ability to sort by tag, so we don't want to stop doing that. Nevertheless, it means that we might have hundreds of resources tagged with "student" or "instructor." In other words, we need to be able to continue to be able to sort by tag, so we would not stop using our standardized set of tags. This primarily relates to our ideation process.


              Turning to the need to streamline search results in general--apart from ideas, where our hands are pretty much tied--do you think that when tagging an item we need to consider the title so that we don't put a tag on an item when that word already exists in the title? An either/or kind of deal?

            • Re: How do tags play with search?
              mnevill Advanced

              In my last community we had a LOT of content that needed tags because the keywords people would use to search did not appear anywhere in the content itself.  This sort of forced us to mass tag.  We never saw it cause a big problem for us.  For the most part people could find what they were looking for from the spotlight search.  Jive also has a synonym engine that is integrated into the search.  I only played with it briefly before we launched and we decided to not use it, so I don't have any real world experience to say if it works well.