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I've seen questions edited to remove the language name from the title. Won't search engines - and folks using search engines - have an easier time finding them if these "tags" are kept as part of the title?

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migrated from Aug 31 '09 at 19:50

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Stack Overflow has an extensive tag system which allows users to identify what technology is involved in a question, watch or ignore certain subjects, narrow their searches to a specific area, and even learn about the tag's subject via its wiki.

This tag system works. You can rely on it to notify users who are interested in a tag about your question. Stack Overflow is optimized so that tags are indexed by search engines along with the content of the question. Users are guaranteed to view your tags, and will take them into account when answering your question.

Therefore it is completely unnecessary to force tags into your question titles.

You absolutely do NOT have to use any one of the following forms when composing your title:

  • [tag]: [question title]
  • [question title] -- [tag] [tag] [tag]
  • [question title] in [tag]
  • [tag] [tag] [question title] [tag] [tag] [tag]
  • [tag] [tag] [tag] [tag] [tag] [tag] [tag] [tag]

The only time you should use tags in your title is when they are organic to the conversational tone of the title. For example,

JavaScript, jQuery: When should I use one or the other?

is an example of forcing tags in order to compensate for a lousy title. The title would be much clearer if rewritten thusly:

Can I use jQuery to foo the bar on the baz, or am I stuck using plain JavaScript?

Note that the system automatically prefixes the title with the most common tag (unless it's already in the title somewhere) to help search engines find it more easily.

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