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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know some people believe religiously in tags (hence tagging threads) but I've never been one who bought into tags. I've seen a lot of highly tagged books that don't sell well and a lot of books with just a few tags and only a couple of votes on each, shoot to the top. My books fell into the second category--but that was at Amazon.com. Not only did they have just a few tags with single digit votes on them, there were a few bizarre, unrelated tags someone stuck on my book, too.

Now, while my books have done very well in the US they hardly sell anything at all across the pond. I think between the three books I've sold maybe fifty in the past four months. Not a lot really. I have no reviews over there and only one tag on one book--which isn't even accurate.

Would it be beneficial to either find someone who has a UK account and ask them to tag my books or buy something over there and tag them myself? All I've been able to glean from tags is they don't help your books show up higher in the main search engine, but if someone clicks on a tag, the more votes you have on that word/tag the higher up you'll be on that list. Is that right? As a person who never clicks on tags to find similar products that way, I guess I never really took the time to learn to advantage, but if there is an advantage and it'll help with Amazon UK, I'd be willing to try it.

Any thoughts?
 

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So tagging does not figure into search ranking at all? I thought it might. It would be great if someone could illuminate what exactly tags do.
 

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I've been wondering the same thing  :p. I haven't done the tagging thread, but I was wondering if it helped at all now that Amazon seems to be removing tags?

So confused. Thanks in advance for anyone who sheds some light!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RebeccaKnight said:
I've been wondering the same thing :p. I haven't done the tagging thread, but I was wondering if it helped at all now that Amazon seems to be removing tags?

So confused. Thanks in advance for anyone who sheds some light!
First, tags are back.

Second, I don't think they factor in at all. Just my thoughts though. I'll tell you my example. I had someone tag my historical romance with the following: historical romance, contemporary romance, drama, love story, romance, earl, heroin (yes, without the "e"), and one or two other completely irrelevant terms. With only two or three votes on each of those bizarre tags I was able to get to #1 in my category (Regency Romance) within two months of publication. (Please note: I do NOT condone malicious or stupid tagging. I'm just saying someone tagged my books this way, and though I did have a few of them voted down to be hidden, I was still able to be noticed while having hardly any tags and most of them weren't something someone would type in: earl? love story?)

What I've noticed with tags is if you click them, a list of books that have been tagged with that term pop up. I don't *know* if it actually moves them up the main search engine though. That's why I asked if I should try to put them on my UK books. If it does move them up or has some other function besides the one I know about, it's something to consider. If not I probably won't bother with them.
 

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I'm no expert, but I figured tags were for unique elements that aren't included in a book's description, like if a book takes place entirely in El Paso, TX, a corresponding tag could be added.  That might be helpful if you're looking at a cowboy romance and want to know where it takes place but the author doesn't mention it in the blurb. 

But when people get slaphappy with them (heroin vs. heroine), they might actually confuse readers.  Unless, of course, you've got characters frequently flicking syringes and finding veins in your book...
 

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As far as whether tagging helps sales, I honestly haven't a clue. I participated heavily in the tagging thread until that weird tag disappearance we had awhile back. I never have gotten back into the swing of tagging since then but maybe I will again. We'll see...

At any rate, I can't tell that my sales change any, whether I tag or don't tag. But my attitude is kind of "try anything and see what sticks".  :p
 

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First of all, when you discuss tags and searching on Amazon, it's important to know there are two different searches. There's the main search, which is located near the top of the screen. But there's also the tag search, which is down in the tag section, and is labeled "Search Products Tagged with".

The tag search obviously searches on tags, and it seems logical that the more your book is tagged with a certain word, the higher it will land in the search results when a reader searches on that word.

The main search is harder to figure out. It does seem to use the tags somewhat. For example, if you search on the word 'invisibility', my book Amulet appears 12th in the search results (at least it does for me.) I've recently added the word 'invisibility' to my blurb, but even before that revision, the book appeared in the search results list. At that time, the word 'invisibility' was nowhere to be found in the title or blurb - only in the tags.

But then again, 'invisibility' is also a tag for Amulet 2, and it doesn't appear in the main search results for 'invisibility'. (They both appear when you search the tags for the word.)

I would assume there are many readers who use the tag search to find books within their interests. So whether or not the main search uses the tags is moot. Tags WILL allow your book to be seen by more users.

Will tags improve sales? Tough question to answer because there's so many variables. However, my own experience leads me to believe they do.

My U.S. sales figures:

Month - Books Sold
Nov 2010 - 4
Dec 2010 - 13
Jan 2011 - 7
Feb 2011 - 18
Mar 2011 - 59
Apr 2011 - 70
May 2011 - 149
Jun 2011 - 200+

I joined one tagging thread in the middle of February:

http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/thread.jspa?messageID=48700#48700

And another at the end of February:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,22473.msg928706.html#msg928706

For what it's worth, my UK sales figures have been tepid and flatlining since November. (Tags aren't shared between the US and UK)
 

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Rose Gordon said:
Would it be beneficial to either find someone who has a UK account and ask them to tag my books or buy something over there and tag them myself? All I've been able to glean from tags is they don't help your books show up higher in the main search engine, but if someone clicks on a tag, the more votes you have on that word/tag the higher up you'll be on that list. Is that right? As a person who never clicks on tags to find similar products that way, I guess I never really took the time to learn to advantage, but if there is an advantage and it'll help with Amazon UK, I'd be willing to try it.
You could join the UK tagging thread in this forum. In order to tag in the UK, you'd have to buy something from the UK site. I've seen some people post about buying something for a penny and then shipping it to an address over there - not sure exactly how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
swolf said:
You could join the UK tagging thread in this forum. In order to tag in the UK, you'd have to buy something from the UK site. I've seen some people post about buying something for a penny and then shipping it to an address over there - not sure exactly how it works.
I wonder if I could buy an mp3 instead?! LOL

Someone else told me she bought a gift card. I bet that might do it. I can leave reviews over there, but not tags. Weird.
 

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swolf said:
The main search is harder to figure out. It does seem to use the tags somewhat. For example, if you search on the word 'invisibility', my book Amulet appears 12th in the search results (at least it does for me.) I've recently added the word 'invisibility' to my blurb, but even before that revision, the book appeared in the search results list. At that time, the word 'invisibility' was nowhere to be found in the title or blurb - only in the tags.
(bold emphasis added by me)

Curious that you included the phrase "at least it does for me." I suspect the search results vary by individual, but haven't been able to conclusively prove it. My book always comes out fairly high in the search result, regardless of the tag I search, leading books of far higher ranking. Oddly enough, the same search by friends seems to yield the same results, though.

WPG
 
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