I was helping my fiancee set up her blog, when she asked the question: “What is the difference between tags and categories?”
I explained that categories were used for organizing your posts in a hierarchical manner, whereas tags can be used more for searches. I tried to show her using my blog, to which I discovered: I don’t use either correctly, at all! I think my tag cloud is weak, and my category structure is non-existent.
Fortunately, Google, as always, is to the rescue. I did a quick search on the topic, and discovered this blog post: Categories versus Tags – What’s the Difference and Which One? The blog post describes that categories are primarily for internal navigation on your site, should be fairly well defined and are hierarchical, whereas tags are better suited for searches on other sites such as Technorati. It’s also important to note that categories are not tags, but tags can be categories.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking to incorporate a better category structure on my blog and work on creating better tags. It’s always fun to learn new things when trying to teach others.