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I've been retagging questions on the assumption that:

  1. It makes it easier to find duplicate questions.
  2. It makes it easier to find solutions to the problem I currently have, both through the search functionality and in the related questions functionality.

but I'm interested to know whether there's good evidence that retagging improves findability. Apart from increased views because of the edit bump, when a bunch of questions have been retagged, does traffic increase, for example in terms of:

  1. User-supplied links to the retagged question from another question.
  2. Questions being closed as duplicates of that question.
  3. Views of that question.
  4. Answers to that question.
share|improve this question
Are you fixing up other areas of the post when you retag? –  random Oct 5 '11 at 23:09
@random: A little, but not much. It's time-consuming enough as it is, as you can see from my SO edit history. –  Andrew Grimm Oct 5 '11 at 23:10
Tags help experts find questions to answer. Google helps users find answers. Which does has an odd bias for "Hottest [tag] questions" but that's about it. –  Uphill Luge Oct 5 '11 at 23:57
It seems that with minimal effort you could track this fairly easily. You could simply keep a spreadsheet of posts you retag as an experiment and check them 2 days to see a spike in traffic, and again after a week. –  corsiKa Oct 6 '11 at 0:17
@glowcoder: I'm not interested in seeing if there's a short-term spike in traffic. –  Andrew Grimm Oct 6 '11 at 0:26
@andrew I don't see why the experiment couldn't be scaled to any amount of time. You could probably even write a simple script to do the heavy lifting for you. Once a week, run your script with list of questions to see what their views are. I guess since you didn't define long term, I figured a week was long enough. –  corsiKa Oct 6 '11 at 0:34
@andrew something else that comes to mind is that some retagging could potentially lower traffic; it's something that could be tracked with the experiment as well (note what tags were added or removed when you make the retag and when you generate a report based on the script you can indicate what changes correlate into what long term behaviors). –  corsiKa Oct 6 '11 at 0:35
@corsiKa Ok, I ran the experiment on two sites. The answer is that yes, any time a post hits the front page makes it prone to short-term votes, athough not always upvotes especially if not high scoring to start with. The effect is increased on slow sites compared to fast ones. I felt so bad about this I edited the most recent questions to bump them before the retags. –  tchrist Apr 11 at 22:09
I've done multi-hundred retags before and always there are complaints. Most people just don't realize that they can select Newest Questions instead of Active Questions. –  tchrist Apr 11 at 22:14

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