Guidelines and best practices to tag newly uploaded content to Iconfinder

Martin LeBlanc avatar
Written by Martin LeBlanc
Updated over a week ago

Tags are used to describe your products and help make sure they appear when the proper words are searched. Correct tagging is one of the best ways to market your work, so read through the steps below to learn more about getting your products seen where and when they should. Incorrect tags may be marked for review, and will result in a lower search rank for your content until the tags are corrected.

1. Number of tags

It's tempting to add a lot of tags to make sure your content show up on many different search terms. However, to avoid spamming, we penalize content with too many tags. All additional tags will be highlighted orange to suggest removal.

  • Adding more than 9 tags will lower your item’s rank in the search results

  • We generally recommend an average of 3-4 tags per item

  • Pack averages should not fall below 1.5 tags per item

While 1-2 tags are technically allowed, it’s generally not recommended unless your item is truly that specific. For example, it might make sense in the case of very straightforward content such as logos or people, like an icon of Ghandi. This icon wouldn’t necessarily need any tags other than the person's name, because 99% of users would know to type in “Ghandi” in order to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Ultimately, it’s up to each contributor how much time and effort they want to spend “marketing” their content through accurate tags. One way to think about it is if you're willing to put significant time and energy into designing an item, you might as well make sure it actually gets found.

2. Specificity

Keeping tags accurate and specific is important to keep search results reliable. This can be done in a number of ways:

a) Relevance

The goal is to keep your tags as relevant to the content as possible. Avoid tags that begin to stray from the content’s theme, or are not accurately depicted. Use tags to differentiate similar content from one another. Look at each tag individually and ask yourself if it makes sense for your products to appear as a result. Additionally, be mindful of the following:

  • Don’t use the same exact tags for every item in a pack

  • Don’t use the pack name as a tag (unless it directly works)

  • Don’t use your designer name as a tag

Below is an example of good tags that stay specific and topical, and bad tags that begin to stray too far from the item’s theme.

b) Filenames & auto-tagging

Iconfinder will automatically try to extract tags from your filenames, so it’s best to label them accordingly with this in mind. The feature picks out words in the filename divided by spaces “ “, hyphens “-” and underscores “_”.

For example, if you have an icon of a dog that is a Labrador Retriever you might name the file something like “dog-labrador-pet.svg” and the tags “dog”, “labrador”, and “pet” will automatically be added.

It’s important to note that the auto-tagging feature overlooks keeping together compound nouns as a single tag, which should be corrected in this stage. (You can read more about compound nouns further down)

c) Generic & non-descriptive tags

Numbers, symbols, and generic tags (such as styles and design elements) that have been pulled from auto-tagging filenames or additionally added will be highlighted red, and should also be removed.

The full list of generic terms to avoid can be found here. These are tags that do not directly describe the motif of the content. In other words, do not use tags that do not describe what the content represents.

3. Typos/Misspellings

As much as you can avoid it, try to make sure your tags are always spelled correctly. We also ask that you do not intentionally include common misspellings of words such as “facebok”. Our search algorithm handles this and will auto-correct misspelled searches to the correct word.

4. Plurals

Tags should only be pluralized when there are actually multiple instances of an object in a graphic. If you submit a user icon, you should not include the tags “user” and “users”. If the icon shows a single person use “user”, if it shows multiple people use “users”.

5. English

All tags should be in English.

6. Compound Words

a) Two words

When you have an item that depicts a compound noun (multiple nouns used together that form a new, singular meaning) such as “hot dog”, “video game”, “ice cream”, or “social media” we ask that you do not break the words up into individual tags. In other words, do not add “hot” and “dog” separately, rather keep the words together in a single tag. Additionally, do not merge them by subtracting the space. Tag as if you were normally writing the word out, as grammatically correct as possible.

b) Single words

On the flip side, when you have an item that represents a compound noun made up of multiple words but with no space in between, such as “rainforest”, “sunflower”, or “waterfall”, please do not break it up into individual tags. Keep the tag as the whole word, with no spaces in between. Again, keep it written out just like you normally would to be grammatically correct.

7. Logos & Trademarks

Some of the most popular searches are for company names, specifically social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. In most cases it is ok to use trademarked names as tags (our system will block the ones that can’t), but generally the icons, illustrations and stickers need to be offered for free. Feel free to read more about our logo & trademark policy.

8. Offensive Language

Certain words that are deemed offensive will not be allowed for use as tags. I

For more tips & tricks, read this helpful article on using descriptive tags.

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