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Over on Arqade we've had a meta discussion recently regarding the inclusion of game names in question titles due to an issue where the 'Questions that may already have your answer' suggestions when raising a new question causing confusion. Take a look at this screenshot below;

screenshot

All of these questions are for different games, but that is not obvious, as we use the game names in our tags. When each of these questions are viewed it becomes obvious which game they're referring to, but from this list - it is not.

As a possible resolution to this issue, would it be possible for an option to be added that would show the tags that a question is tagged with in the suggested questions list?

Another possible solution could be to limit the list based on the tags that are entered when raising a question, but as pointed out in the meta discussion the tag is one of the last things entered when raising a new question, so this may not be that viable as a solution.

Are there any other possible solutions that could alleviate this problem?

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+1 to showing the tags with the titles. –  user7116 Mar 4 '13 at 15:59
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It would be great if the list updated once I've added some tags to my question too, I'm sure better suggestions can be made once I've done so. –  fredley Mar 4 '13 at 16:03
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@fredley: See this related proposal. –  dotancohen Dec 15 '13 at 10:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

We had a round-up yesterday and discussed this feature and for now have decided that this isn't currently feasible, not without an epiphany of design.

The ideal incarnation is that we essentially treat this the same way we handle the <title> attribute, steal the top tag on the question as long as it isn't organically in the title. But then we ran into some problems on how to render this safely.

If we show it in the actual appearance of a tag, the UI gets pretty clunky and any titles that do not have visible tags will make the entire thing look like a mess of everything thrown at people's face.

If we show it as plaintext, then while the appearance is pretty smooth between tagged and not-tagged, therein lies the problem that users, especially new users, won't be able to tell the difference. Which means, that from their perspective, writing titles like starcraft2 - How do I change the difficulty is a proper course of action. While this disambiguates for your ambiguous titles, when someone asks a not-so-ambiguous question and is presented with a list that all have these prefix tag texts, there's no discouragement or easily explained difference between these titles and the actually normal titles.

For now, this request is on hold - we think the use case is pretty solid but we're thinking on a way to implement this that won't cause more harm-than-good by encouraging improper titles with tag prefixes or suffixes.


I'd like to take this moment to remind people, though. Including tags in the title organically has always and will always be acceptable and is very much encouraged, especially in cases where a title can be ambiguous. During the internal round up, and as well as with cyclic chats I have across the network, I always hear "You should never include tags in the title, they should always be in the tag section and maybe the question body", and some people even assert that this is what we recommend and as well head and edit them out of titles where they are legitimately used. We don't recommend this.

People shouldn't include tags in the title in clunky, offset means. This would be things like <tag> - question or question (tag) or [tag] question. It is acceptable to write things like "How do I do X in [tag]", or "Using [tag], how can I do Y". Those are part of the same sentence that the actual title is, and why we refer to this as "organically including the tag". It's part of the same being, and it helps in a lot of things. It makes search (Google and otherwise) stronger, it includes important data that tells people what your question is about, and most of all it helps avoid ambiguity.

So please don't remove tags that are properly included in the title. If someone starts an editing spree to do this, stop them. And when you ask your own questions, consider noting the important things, like the game title when you're in Arqade.

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Wasn't search engine optimization the whole point of adding tags to the <title> element, and not just anywhere in the <title> element but at the start of it? ...or did something change Google-side? –  badp Apr 27 '13 at 15:35
    
Thanks for the official response on this, @GraceNote –  Flyk Apr 27 '13 at 15:36
    
@badp It's optimized for search engines, not for people. Yes, it still works enough for people because that ends up including the data, but again, including it still helps a bit on that end, and a whole lot more internally. –  Grace Note Apr 27 '13 at 16:55
    
How about showing the most important tag (With most followers? Most questions on the tag?) behind the number of votes and show only that single tag, and not lose the vertical alignment of the vote count? The first line of the image in the question above could be for example: [starcraft2] [7] How can I change the difficulty?, or in stackoverflow, something like [C] [2] How to read a number from input? –  Shahbaz Jan 21 at 11:51
    
This way, the tag won't be confused with the question title, and it still won't look bad because it's only a single tag and everything's still aligned. –  Shahbaz Jan 21 at 11:57

I think this is an issue that requires site-specific modifications. The importance of tags varies a lot across different SE sites.

On Gaming, the main tag is extremely important, as it tells us which game the whole question is about. We generally have only one tag in most cases, and it is the name of the game. Restricting the suggested duplicates to questions with the same major tag makes a lot of sense on Gaming.

But this is not a solution that would fit to all sites, many sites have far more complicates and ambiguous tagging schemes, excluding questions on the base of tags would be dangerous there. This should be a per-site configuration option.

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Not showing potential dupes from different tags is probably not a good idea SE-wide, but why would simply displaying the tags in the results need to be? –  Matthew Read Mar 5 '13 at 17:16

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