Why are keywords so important?
What are keywords?

Why should I use them?

How can keywords help me?

Keywords are tags that you place on the content you submit to Fanpop so that other fans can find it. You don't need to use a lot of them, just the relevant ones. You'll want to use words that describe what's in the content. Who is in it, what episode it's from, etc.

supernatural, dean, 4x18, the monster at the end of this book

This example is very simple. It's an icon from the show Supernatural [keyword], the subject is Dean [keyword], it's from episode 4x18 [keyword] 'The Monster at the End of This Book' [keyword].

It's also sometimes helpful to say what kind of image it is. For icons, wallpapers, fanart and screencaps it's unnecessary because there are already categories that will sort that for you. But episode stills and promotional photos all just end up in the photo section.

supernatural, meg, rachel miner, 6x10, caged heat, episode still

The above image is a little more detailed. It's from the show Supernatural [keyword], the subject is Meg [keyword], the actress is Rachel Miner [keyword], it's from episode 6x10 [keyword] 'Caged Heat' [keyword] and it's an episode still [keyword].
In this image I put the actress's name because more than one actress has depicted this character.

Batch uploading

If you are uploading several icons at once, please make sure that your keywords are relevant to each image in the batch.

supernatural, dean, sam, all dogs go to heaven, 6x08
These two icons were uploaded in the same batch, they have the same keywords. But not all of the keywords are relevant to each image. They are both from the episode 'All Dogs Go to Heaven' but obviously both Sam and Dean are not in both of these icons.
supernatural, dean, sam, all dogs go to heaven, 6x08
They should have been uploaded separately. One in a batch of 6x08 Dean icons, the other in a batch of 6x08 Sam icons.

Let's talk about why you should use keywords and how they can help you and your fellow fans.

Keywords help make your content searchable. If you're looking for something specific [an episode, character or type of image], keywords will help you find it.

Let's say that you were going to make a pick about Dean in the Supernatural episode 'The Monster at the End of This Book'. You wanted to put relevant icons on the options. In theory, the best way to find those relevant icons would be to use the 'Search Club' bar in the Supernatural Spot. You would type in Dean, The Monster at the End of this Book and/or 4x18, then choose 'images' > 'icons'.

This image has Dean in it and is from 4x18. It might be perfect for your pick. But it has no keywords at all. It would not show up in any search, no matter what you typed into the search bar. It is essentially nonexistent. Unless you happened to see this icon when it was first uploaded and showed on the front page, you'll never see it [unless of course it's reuploaded by someone else but that's a whole other issue].

This image has Dean in it and is from 4x18. But the only keyword it has is Supernatural. Which makes it pretty useless. Why would you go to the Supernatural spot and type Supernatural into the search bar? The only reason to use Supernatural in the keyword section is for outside search engines [ie Google] to be able to find it. It should never be the only keyword.

supernatural, dean, 4x18, the monster at the end of this book
This image has Dean in it, is from 4x18 and has all the keywords necessary for you to find it! Out of the the thousands of icons that have been added to the Supernatural spot- you found the one you needed! That is the whole point of keywords. That is why they should be used with every image. Otherwise, you're just uploading air. The whole point of Fanpop is to gather content together and share it with your fellow fans. If they never see it, you're not sharing it.

Repeat content is pointless

Keywords would also help cut down on repeat content. If everyone used keywords and if everyone used the search bar to check to see if something has already been added [promotional photos especially!], then there wouldn't be near as many of the same images uploaded over and over and over again. I realize that's a lot to hope for but I figured I'd mention it because that is one of the ways that keywords could be useful.

This video has all the keywords necessary for someone to find it.

I also want to give some tips on how to keyword videos. It's the same as the images but since there are no subcategories for videos like there are for images, it's more important to say what kind of video it is. Is it a fanvid? An interview? Special features? Gag reel? A scene? A promo?
Since most of the videos added tend to be fanvids, keywords that let people know what kind of video it is can be really helpful for those searching for non-fanvids.

Adding keywords is incredibly simple. All you have to do is take a moment to think about what you're uploading and what you would type into the search bar if you wanted to find it. It doesn't take that much time and is simple common courtesy.

Pass the message along!

I know that most of the people who will read this article already know the importance of keywords and use them. However, I think it might be helpful if we all pass this article along. Post links to it in spots that have poor keyword usage. Try to educate as many people as possible to why they should use keywords. Maybe we can see an improvement.