Tags are one of the defining elements of Web 2.0. When Google started gmail, it used the term label instead of the term tag. When Google developed the new version of Blogger, it also again used the term labels instead of tags.
I wondered why Google used this term instead of the other popular one. My first impression was that Google is trying to have its own terminology, same thing for instance as when Netscape Navigator had "bookmarks" while Internet Explorer has "favorites", another similar pair of terms in the two browsers is "reload" and "refresh" and so on.
When Google used the term label instead of tags in its new version of Blogger I said to myself this might be to continue on the same tradition of gmail. But I noticed something that made me get puzzled. I found that in Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google does not use the term label and used the term tag instead! That was really puzzling to me and got me thinking in a different path asking myself if the two terms actually had different meanings.
Perhaps Google is still using the term tag in Google Docs & Spreadsheets as a continuation from its predecessor Writely. I suggest that Google would unify its terminology and use the term label there as well. Or do you think Google should instead go with the rest of the world and use the popular and almost standard term tag in gmail, Blogger and any other of its services?
By the way, Google uses the term labels in Google Bookmarks while it uses the term tags in Google Reader. Is this making the situation more puzzling or is it giving any clues to the existence of some subtle difference between a label and a tag?
In Google Video and in Picasa Web Albums, Google uses the term tag. Are you starting to see a common thread now and a consistent pattern emerging on when to use the term tag and when to use the other term label, or is it getting even more puzzling?