Reflection on SEO and Blogging

A person has a laptop open with one manicured hand and the other hand around a latte
Photo by Sincerely Media / Unsplash

I don’t know how many people in class have ever used Tumblr, but when I first joined back in 2012 one tip I remembered reading was that the first five tags you attach to a post are the ones where your post is going to get noticed. So like, if I were to make a post about bananas and included a “Doctor Who” gif to it, and then I tagged it with banana, fruit, Doctor Who, potassium, and gif, then it would definitely show up in searches on the site with those tags.

Nowadays, the Tumblr tagging system is, for lack of a more nuanced word, shit.

Tagging posts is ineffective because searching your own blog for a tag like “Personal” will bring up any post you have ever made or reblogged with the word “personal” in it. You can frequent one of your favorite tags for fandom content and find hate for your thing in the tag. It’s not tagged as your favorite fandom thing, but because the rant has your favorite thing in the body of the text, it shows up in the tag.

This, unfortunately, is true for both the web and mobile versions of the blogging site.

In fact, over time and loss of profitability Tumblr has become in some ways less accessible and more accessible than other websites. For example, while the tagging system is bad, the mobile version of the app is one of the easiest apps to navigate. While some features cannot be permanently disabled (Tumblr Live Snooze Button), you can add alternate text to photos you post for users who have issue viewing visual media.

If I were to create a blogging site, or even just use the site I have running right now for my persona as a blogging site, I would learn from Tumblr's mistakes and make sure my tagging system actually works. Make searching for tags a different feature or filter on the site rather than making it a full search bar. Tagging your posts helps them get seen, but if they aren’t tagged effectively and can’t be found then no one is going to see them.

I would make sure that the mobile version of my website is accessible and easy to navigate. Part of that would be image descriptions (like I maaaaybe should have been doing since the beginning of this class) and making sure the menu is clear to find pages on the site. I think I would try to avoid running ads on the site as much as possible. One of the more annoying features of Tumblr in 2023 is how you can barely scroll through two posts before coming upon an ad like this one:

Help, I clicked a Tumblr ad on Tumblr, and now I'm still on Tumblr? – Help  Center
image: a human man dressed as a Pikachu in an ad for

Overall, the people who would be coming to my site are ones that would want to read my writing or discuss writing tips and techniques. I would tailor the site to what they are expecting and would be interested in when they come to my site.

Erin Byington

Erin Byington

I am a graduate student at Middle Georgia State University. I am working on my Master's in Professional and Technical Writing.
Warner Robins, GA