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Which subforums should have the most tags?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It has really been wonderful seeing all of the tags pop up recently. I know that @mike2014 has been adding a lot of them and I really appreciate it.

    For those who want to help out (please do!), I'd like to encourage you to put more tags in the following subforums: Success Stories, Ask A TMS Therapist, General Discussion, Mindbody Video Library, and Mindbody Blogs.

    The reason why is that we want to put more tags on threads that people will want to read the most. This has to do with something called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the fact that Google sees a tag on a thread as being like a vote for a thread. When Google sends a new person to us, it can estimate whether the person likes the page by estimating how long they stay on the page (this is called dwell time). We want to tag (i.e. vote for) threads that people will spend a long time on so we develop a good reputation with Google. That way Google will send us more people who will learn about TMS and heal.

    Having looked at our server statistics for years, I can say that people seem to like the threads in Success Stories, Ask A TMS Therapist, General Discussion, Mindbody Video Library, and Mindbody Blogs. If we tag threads in those subforums, dwell times will be high and more people will be helped out of pain.

    To understand this, put yourself in the position of someone who has terrible foot pain that is preventing you from living life as you had lived it before. Your doctors aren't able to help, so you turn, like so many others in their moment of need, to Google. You search for the diagnosis your Dr. gave you: plantar fasciitis.

    Suppose, also, that someone has tagged @AnitaV's excellent success story with our tag. Google is constantly scanning our site, downloading about 978 pages per day to check which ones are updated. Therefore, Google knows pretty quickly that someone has tagged AnitaV's story with plantar fasciitis, and it interprets that tag as a vote for Anita's story. The new tag also tells Google that Anita's story is about plantar fasciitis. Therefore, when someone in pain searches for plantar fasciitis, Google may send them to Anita's story.

    Now, let's put ourselves in the position of someone who has terrible foot pain and has turned to Google. Imagine finding Anita's story of success. You would see that Anita has beaten her plantar fasciitis and it would give you hope. You might not know anything about TMS or even have ever heard of it before. But you see this story about Anita and you think, "maybe I could heal, too..." Suddenly, you want to learn about TMS. Perhaps you'll even head to a library or Amazon to pick up a book. Your life could be changed forever.

    (Take a moment to read the thread and you'll see what I mean:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/thread...n-plantar-fasciitis-wrist-pain-eye-pain.5224/ )

    On a more mundane level, you would probably read the whole thread because it's free. Google takes not of the fact that you don't come back to the search results and click on another link. Or perhaps you do, but it takes a while (your dwell time is high). Either way, Google knows that you liked the page, so it sends more people to Anita's story in the future.

    In contrast, suppose someone had tagged a thread in the Structured Educational Program subforum or the Support Subforum with "plantar fasciitis" because the condition was mentioned in the thread. Absolutely amazing connections happen in those subforums, but the statistics and suggest that if we want to convince Google that people love us, those aren't the threads we want to vote for (i.e. tag).

    Suppose you were in pain and typed "plantar fasciitis" into Google and it took you to a support subforum thread. Without the incredible power of a success story, it won't be quite as compelling. You'd likely hit the back button and Google would eventually decide that it didn't believe in the site.

    This post is getting a bit long, so I won't analyze the other subforums in as great depth, but years of looking at the server statistics has convinced me that the best threads to tag will generally be in the following subforums:
    • Success Stories,
    • Ask A TMS Therapist,
    • General Discussion,
    • Mindbody Video Library, and
    • Mindbody Blogs
    In contrast, it is less important to tag the following subforums:
    • About this site
    • Off Topic
    • Support
    • Structured Educational Program
    While very important things happen in the last two subforums, they are primarily between the people participating at the time and are less likely to be as important to third parties.

    What does this mean? Overall, you are welcome to tag the threads that you love, but I'd encourage you to focus on the first five subforums I listed. When you tag a thread, put yourself in the shoes of someone who had just typed the tag into a search engine. If you saw the thread, would you read the whole thing or would you click the back button. If you would click the back button, tag a different thread instead. Remember, it's about quality, not quantity.

    Finally, in terms of cold, hard numbers, search engines sent us 24,583 visitors in the last 30 days. I don't know how many of them learned about TMS from their visits, but I do know one thing. Back in 2008, a friend of mine did some Googling for "Repetitive Strain Injury" and that was how I discovered the success stories that changed my life forever. Likewise, my good friend Mandy learned about TMS from Googling Annular Fissure:
    So even if most people who visit already know about TMS or never think about it again, if a tag can help just one person like it helped Mandy and I, then that makes all the difference.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    Tennis Tom and JanAtheCPA like this.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I actually feel like adding the tag "Google SEO" to this thread lol you will certainly get hits! Ha
    JanAtheCPA and Forest like this.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Did it make sense I hope? It was a bit long, but I tried to keep it interesting. :)
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  4. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, absolutely. :) Thanks. I did actually tag some support post, but I now realise these are lower priority.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am so grateful for any help with tagging. Two years from now, tagging will just be another part of using the forum on a day to day basis, but right now we're creating that system that in later years people will take for granted. I hope that feels as good to you as it does to me. :)
    JanAtheCPA and mike2014 like this.
  6. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Am happy to tag if you can give me a "how-to."
    mike2014 likes this.
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    mike2014 likes this.
  8. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Excellent @Gigi, it's a huge job, but definitely a rewarding one, especially when you see how much easier is it to find threads based on topics.

    @Forest, this is just a suggestion but could it be worthwhile differentiating the 'tags', in the success stories v's support forum etc. For example we currently use "back pain" this list all threads with the tag back pain regardless of whether success stories or not. However, for the sake of duplicating a handful of tags which relate to symptoms/successes and adding a suffix or prefix E. G, "back pain healed" / "healed back pain", we will not only be directing them to "back pain" post, but we can automatically and intuitively direct people who post in the support forum, specifically to the success stories forum and more importantly, directly to the threads with the tag" back pain healed". People automatically, want to see any successes when they look up their symptoms. Not only would it help, with regards to making the experience 'user friendly'. But, also, when potential users search Google to find success stories, they don't necessary enter the words "back pain + success stories", it may be "back pain + healed' or "back pain + cured". I know from my experience and prior to registering, I didn't proactively use the phrase success stories when Googling. If it's specific and not airy fairy, people will be directed to the thread.

    I'm not sure of your thoughts or whether you agree with the above, because it does mean more tags, but keen to understand it from your perspective.


    PS I typed this on my mobile, so sorry for any typos.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

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