Tumblr is a great platform—an all-in-one blogging platform, microsite hub, and social network. Despite many changes since its launch, it remains incredibly popular with hundreds of thousands of unique sites hosted within it. With all this volume to rank, how can you search Tumblr effectively? In this article, we’ll walk you through.
What is Tumblr anyway?
Tumblr was launched in 2007 as a free way for anyone to publish a blog or mini site quickly and easily. There are obvious restrictions: nothing illegal and nothing to do with terrorism, but other than that any issue is fair game. And so, unsurprisingly, quite a bit of adult content has popped up on the platform over the years – but that’s not what Tumblr is about.
According to Tumblr, there are over 441 million Tumblogs (2018 figures) and with that comes a lot of different content. It involves millions of people sharing their lives in a normal way. There are lifestyle blogs, niche blogs, alternative blogs, and gaming blogs. And of course, there are business users who shamelessly wear companies and products, just like Twitter.
How to search on Tumblr
So, with a full volume working against you, how do you search Tumblr effectively? There are several ways. Hashtags are the primary way to search Tumblr and the best way to find blogs and posts you haven’t seen yet. Keywords do pretty much the same thing, but can produce a wider range of results. Keywords are more useful if you have time to browse and explore.
Search with hashtag
Hashtags are a big thing on Tumblr. You can add them to posts or images to make them visible to the world. The world can then use the search bar at the top of the page to find what they’re looking for.
For example, add ‘#cutekittens’ to the search bar on Tumblr and you’ll see thousands of kitten pictures and blogs. You can also add multiple hashtags to a single search. So you can use ‘#cutekittens #blackcats #realkittensofla’ in a single search to filter three terms at once.
Search by Keyword
As with any search engine, you can search Tumblr using keywords. They work pretty much the same as hash, but offer a wider scope for results. Therefore, the keywords will return fairly similar results instead of returning exact or nearly exact results.
For example, type ‘cute kittens’ in the search box and you’ll get a much larger pool of results than if you used the hashtag. The upside is width, the downside is filtering out all results for what you’re looking for.
Filtering for results
Tumblr also has some useful filters to help you narrow your search. If you select the small compass icon in the top menu, you gain access to Explore. Below the search box you have a set of filters. You can click one of them to browse a narrower range or use the search box as usual.
You can also use Trending Searches on the right for inspiration, or use the Recommended blogs on the Tumblr dashboard for a less precise search method. Unlike most sites promoting funded content, Tumblr’s Trend Searches are more democratic.
Search Tumblr using URLs
If you really want to drill down on Tumblr, you’ll need the URL of the microsite or blog you want to explore, but the rest is easy.
- http://www.example.com/archive – will search for archived posts from a specific blog.
- http://www.example.com/tagged/tag – searches a site for a specific tag. Replace the last ‘/tag’ with the hashtag you are looking for.
- http://www.example.com/search/keyword – will search that URL for a keyword of your choice. Just replace the last ‘/keyword’ with the actual word you’re looking for.
This last way to search Tumblr is very useful if you know what you are looking for. I tend to use it when I see an article that I liked and reread and forgot. Instead of navigating my internet history, I can go back to the site and search.
Tumblr is a great resource to learn, explore, waste time or see more of the world. At least now you have a chance to find what you are looking for!