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What's the difference between the tag cloud and the smart cloud?
What's the difference between the tag cloud and the smart cloud?

Tag clouds and smart clouds both use keywords to help you analyze words and phrases in survey participants’ comments.

Tyree Dickerson avatar
Written by Tyree Dickerson
Updated over a week ago

Below the Comments tab, you'll find three tag-related tabs. The Smart Keywords and Smart Cloud tabs are similar, only differing in how data is displayed. Smart Keywords displays data in a list format, while Smart Cloud is a visual representation of key words. These two tabs display Google-identified keywords based on common words used by survey participants in a question’s comments.

The main difference between the two tabs mentioned above and the Tag Cloud tab is that the Tag Cloud identifies comments containing words and phrases that YOU, not Google, have specified.

Smart clouds and smart keywords are created by Google to analyze comments and make intelligent associations between common words used by participants in surveys. Google also scans for related words, enabling the clarification of the sentiments that survey participants express about survey questions. 

Sentiments – positive, negative and neutral – can help organizations better understand the view consumers have of their product or service, or how they feel about something - e.g., "I hate work."

Comments enable survey participants to elaborate on a question or statement instead of choosing a set response, which may not be the gut reaction they have to a question. Tagging these comments allows you to build surveys with more relevant response options. Smart clouds and smart keywords also provide additional valuable insights you won’t get from yes / no answers to questions.  

How does it work?

Smart Keywords 

Google scans the comments for each question answered by survey participants and looks for common words used. In the example below, the words “school” and “work” were commonly used in comments related to a question about the destinations along a particular route participants traveled. The word “work”, a place participants passed on their journey, was (misleadingly) given a negative connotation by some participants. On the Smart Keywords tab, this data is displayed in a list format. 

Smart Cloud

For a visual representation of the data in the Smart Keywords tab, we can go to the Smart Cloud tab. In the example below, the tags are displayed in different sizes and colors (instead of a list of numbers) illustrating the frequency with which each word appears in the comments, and whether the word has a negative (red), neutral (gray) or positive (green) sentiment.

A smart cloud is:

  • A visual representation of the way survey participants responded to a question in comments

  • Generated by survey participants (i.e., in comments) 

  • Displayed using colors and variable font sizes to show how often a word or phrase was mentioned, and whether a comment was neutral, positive or negative

Tag cloud

Cloud keywords and the smart cloud can be misleading; a word that is identified in a negative comment may have nothing to do with the sentiment a participant is expressing about a question. For instance, the comment, “I find the road markings on my way to work are not clearly demarcated,” is not a negative sentiment about work but about road markings. However, in a smart cloud, Google will identify “work” as a negative sentiment related to a question. 

The tag cloud can help us better to decipher and analyze the words used in comments by enabling tagging rules where we define how words are related. For instance, we may not want to associate the words "dislike" and "work." Instead, we can choose to associate words like "work," "labor" and "employment," identifying all comments using one or more of these words and put them into a "work" category.

A tag cloud can associate words based on rules related to your business or the type of question you are asking in your surveys. For instance, you could link all words related to a “holiday transport” category - e.g., plane, train, bus, taxi, ship, etc. 

In the example below, we have created a category called "schools." Only comments that specifically contain the word "school" fit in this category.

The difference between the smart cloud/smart keywords and the tag cloud is that the former two are automatically generated by a Google scan while a tag cloud allows you to manually define which words should be targeted and identified in the comments. In the example below, we have identified nine comments that include the word "school."

A tag cloud is:

  • A visual representation of a website’s content using related keywords

  • Used to navigate web content

  • A way to weight words and phrases in terms of their popularity, frequency and relevance to a web page’s content

Tag clouds and smart clouds work together. You can use tag clouds to identify and categorize words used in comments, and smart clouds for an understanding of the sentiment expressed by survey participants about a particular question.

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