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In a recent question I tagged it with what I thought made sense at the time. However once I submitted it and looked at the page title I remembered that tags are now in the title. However the tag in the title doesn't really represent the topic that the question talks about.

Since now order does matter, could tags be reorderable? This way people can help out with SEO and make sure people browsing questions on a busy site can in the first tag get an idea of what topic a person is talking about

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The order of the tags is determined by the popularity of each tag (how many questions they're used on).

The most popular tag is the one used in the title.

The tags don't need to be ordered by popularity. They didn't used to be. But it's kinda nice, if for no other reason than folks who try typing their questions into the tag field are immediately faced with a scrambled mess upon posting.

The most popular tag doesn't need to be the one used in the title. But the idea is that this is a strategy that'll help Google find it. If you had to rely on users putting the most relevant tag first in order to make this work, you'd probably end up with a lot of noise.

This way people can help out with SEO and make sure people browsing questions on a busy site can in the first tag get an idea of what topic a person is talking about

I highly doubt most users care about SEOing their question. But if you do, all you have to do is put the keywords in the title! Work 'em in conversationally if at all possible though, or it's gonna look like crap to the human readers (the ones actually answering your question).

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Last paragraph ftw - If you're interested in SEO, make the content more relevant. –  Adam Davis Jan 11 '11 at 4:25

The way I see it, there are two things going on here:

  1. I'm not a networking expert, but it seems that the specific question you've cited has absolutely nothing to do with port forwarding. It mentions using ports for port forwarding, okay, great, but the question would stand alone without that information. (Unless, of course, I've completely misunderstood it.) Based on that, the dominant tag should be removed.

  2. The tag order was changed so that the more popular tags appear first. I agree this is not the same thing as specifying the importance of the tags. However, it doesn't matter. Actually, using a less popular tag first may hurt the question's exposure to the audience needing to be reached: not as many people will see the more popular tag if it doesn't appear first. It makes sense that the system would sort this out for you. It's helping you get the highest quality answers.

The only real backlash from automatic ordering of the tags was the issue of questions having tags such as + , and that order being destroyed, making it impossible to partially automate a retagging system to fix those questions (because some questions legitimately needed to have those tags as-is). But other than that, there really hasn't been much discussion about it at all. Speaking personally, I like it for the exact reasons I mentioned in point 2 -- I can more easily see questions I can answer, or that I'm at least interested in, even if the tags on those questions don't appear in my interesting tags.

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