[wp-hackers] Cleaning up tags

Eric Marden wp at xentek.net
Fri Jan 8 06:36:50 UTC 2010

On Jan 7, 2010, at 8:48 AM, Lari Elovainio wrote:

> Hello all,
> a client has currently 10 237 post tags. While a great achievement  
> and the result of a lot of work, I’m thinking of removing at least  
> those tags that have only been used once or not at all (8 836).
> I can of course do this easily from the term_taxonomy table but what  
> about the term_relationships table? Do these extra tag relationships  
> there slow down the blog? The relationships table currently has over  
> 67 000 rows. How do I remove these too? I’m not good with mysql and  
> could not find a plugin that would do this.

1. Definitely do it with SQL. This is a non-trivial amount of data and  
you can't just eye.

2. Consider combining tags that are related, synonymous, or stem from  
the same root word, to help lower the count and group related posts,  
which is one of the primary goals of using tags/categories.

3. Like another poster pointed out, do think of the SEO implications  
(if this is something you care about). 301 Redirects are your friend  
here, and might require a custom plugin to do cleanly and efficiently.  
(50,000 rewrite rules in your .htaccess is NOT recommended)

4. Consider the quality of some of the tags. Ideally you should have  
no more than 10 tags per post. Anything more, and you're getting into  
keyword-stuffing territory (black-hat SEO tactic). Clean up the ones  
you do use into a more well defined taxonomy and stick to it, and only  
add new tags as needed. Keep it higher level. The other 'keywords' are  
already in the topic. If you've got 10,000 tags, I would think you  
blog about 1,000 distinct topics, which doesn't sound like the case.

5. If you want to learn more, you may want to read up on some  
Information Architecture topics. O'Reilly has a very comprehensive  
book to introduce you to the topic. It's the one with a polar bear on  
the cover.

- Eric Marden
tw: @xentek

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