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If someone does, say, a lot of tag edits, the front page becomes significantly less useful.

Is there a way to get "new", interesting questions, that aren't new/interesting because of a tag-only edit?

Alternatively, is there a way a bulk tag-editing spree could be done programmatically, without filling the front page with said edits?

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There is

The front page just shows the recently edited questions, where recently edited includes questions for which somebody added an answer, or for which an old answer has been edited.
The different background used for questions using one of the tags that are your favorite (or one of the tags where you are more active, in the case you don't have favorite tags) is applied to other question pages too. The interesting questions are not then shown only on the front page.

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Ironic that you apparently went on a tag editing spree after answering this :) – Benjol Sep 6 '12 at 7:59
It was before answering this. ;) – kiamlaluno Sep 6 '12 at 8:05
Ah, ok, weird, I saw 4h ago on those, did you change your mind? – Benjol Sep 6 '12 at 8:18
@Benjol I asked this at the tail end of the tag editing spree, it was what prompted the ask. Then I kept editing so it wouldn't drop off the front page ;) – Dave Newton Sep 6 '12 at 12:41

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