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According to Shog9's answer to Tags to a question should reorderable, the most popular tag is the one used in the title.

That's all fine and dandy, but here's a question, Is there a WebSocket client implemented for .NET? From the title you can see it's a .NET question; however, the page title that turns up is prefixed with "java"!

I think the tag can stay, considering that the question author states he's fine with a Java implementation as well. But, it's misleading to be searching for say, ".NET websocket client", and to have a result turn up with "java" as the first word in the title, especially since the answers cover .NET libraries.

Yes, ".NET" is in the question title itself somewhere, but it's at the end, and—correct me if I'm wrong—I do believe the purpose of having a tag prefixed in the page title is to help make it easier to spot. I stand corrected, it's for SEO purposes! However, having "java" in the title for a primarily .NET question wouldn't do well to help people searching for - a Java websocket client?

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It's actually mostly for SEO purposes; they found that including the tag in the title helps Google rankings a lot –  Michael Mrozek Nov 16 '11 at 4:42
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@kiamlaluno - I appreciate your edit, but you might want to be a bit more careful with the resulting grammar –  unrelativity Nov 16 '11 at 23:27

2 Answers 2

I know I'm a junior user (relatively) but the policy of automatically using the most popular tag as the title (described more fully here) strikes me as profoundly wrong-headed.

Every question has tags that are more or less relevant. Often someone asks a question about a particular problem and phrases it in the language that they happened to be working in for a given project or they have a problem with a specific library or API and include the language they are working in as an often incidental detail.

Because language tags are the most popular (as they should be), lots of questions get painted as php or c++ when they should really have fb-graph or recursion as the leading tag.

In the last week, I've seen several semantically misordered questions with tags:

  1. [recursion] [c++] Why does a recursed return call break out of stack without an explicit return statement? (i tagged this as C also because i observed the same behavior there and the C tag was removed, presumably because the sample code was c++)
  2. [boost-graph] [c++] how provide a vertex_index property for my graph
  3. [c++] [java] One-byte bool. Why? (java is incidentally mentioned)

The point is that any ranking/categorizing system should take in to account what the question is really asking and "good for SEO" seems like the old "let's fool google by inflating ourselves with popular terms" that we should all know is an unwise strategy in the long run. Titles, like everything else, should reflect content and a boost-graph question is first and foremost a boost-graph question, even if it must also carry its language tag. If you are searching for help with a given library that only exists in a given language, would you even include the language name? If anything the current language-centric titling system would harm SEO on the whole.

I also object to the claim that it's too much of a hassle to keep the tags ordered. Or editing community is active and robust and identifying the main subject of a question should be pretty straightforward. Will there be conflicts about ordering? Yes. Will they be worse (or even as bad) as standard editing conflicts? I doubt it.

In short, I believe tag ordering would be a valuable tool for browsing, viewing and SEO-optimizing the site.

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I think being able to reorder tags would be handy. I've been doing a fair amount of retagging over at Programmers and the resulting page titles don't always make sense.

It'd be cool if the tag order from the edit was preserved as the tag order on the question (allowing for "special" tags like and what not coming first if needed).

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The first tag you think of is likely correlated with the best tag to use, but weakly, especially since for most users it requires that tag to exist beforehand. Probably worse for SEO than the most popular tag. I'd prefer to see tags blacklisted from showing in titles, e.g. pc on Gaming. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 0:22
    
@MatthewRead It's a bit different when the question is edited. Even if you put a different first tag in, the first tag out of the remaining original ones will be used in the title instead and it's not always the best choice. –  Anna Lear Nov 17 '11 at 2:20

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