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First of all, yes, this sounds very much like the other question with nearly the same title. But it's just nearly the same title.

I understand very well the reasoning about putting a tag into the title, and I'm not here to object this. However, I would like to mention, that using the first (in alphabetical order) tag is really not useful in many situations.

Real time example, which led me to create this question: There is this question on SO that is actually about Python. The user is requesting help in porting a C# script into an equivalent Python script. Therefor he obviously looks for Python help, not C# help. As C# is alphabetically before Python though, the website's title makes it look as if it is about C#.

I'm sure there are much better questions in which this becomes much more important. I could think about using some cool technology in some language, and the language being alphabetically before that technology. While the question is actually only about that technology (which is incidentially used in that particular language then), the page title actually lists the language as the important tag - and might hide the question from search results.

It would be good if one could somehow influence the order of the tags, or just specify a main tag somehow, so this could be improved. What do you think?

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It's not alphabetical. The tag is selected based on the left-most tag on the question. Tags on questions are auto-arranged in order of popularity at each revision, so this means that the tag in the title of the page will be the tag with the highest popularity (that is, number of uses). Also keep in mind that tags which are explicitly matched in the title will also be skipped. So Python isn't a valid tag to end up as a prefix in your sample question. –  Grace Note Mar 24 '11 at 20:50
    
@Grace Note: Oh, I didn't notice that! Thank you. Although it might make sense then to include the less-popular tags in the title then, to promote those technologies compared to the more popular languages (I just assume that the language will be always the most popular of all tags in a question). –  poke Mar 24 '11 at 20:55
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If the language is specified in the title naturally, then the system will skip over the tag and move on to other tags. Thus, you can 'promote' the lesser tags by simply including the language. Make sure to do it organically in the title, though, and not like some kind of "C#:" prefix. Double prefix titles look horrendous. –  Grace Note Mar 24 '11 at 20:56
    
@Grace Note: Okay, good idea. Thank you very much :) - Wish you wrote that as an answer though ;) –  poke Mar 24 '11 at 21:04
    
Your initial premise may have had a fatal flaw, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't room for this change nonetheless. There are still reasons in which neither of these will help. Perhaps not as prevalent on Stack Overflow, but some of the younger Stack Exchange sites have issues where minor elements like [items] will precede the more important elements, but cannot reasonably be incorporated into the title. –  Grace Note Mar 24 '11 at 21:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Stealing Grace Note's answer because it's perfect and should have been left as an answer anyway:

It's not alphabetical. The tag is selected based on the left-most tag on the question. Tags on questions are auto-arranged in order of popularity at each revision, so this means that the tag in the title of the page will be the tag with the highest popularity (that is, number of uses). Also keep in mind that tags which are explicitly matched in the title will also be skipped. So Python isn't a valid tag to end up as a prefix in your sample question

If the language is specified in the title naturally, then the system will skip over the tag and move on to other tags. Thus, you can 'promote' the lesser tags by simply including the language. Make sure to do it organically in the title, though, and not like some kind of "C#:" prefix. Double prefix titles look horrendous.

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The most popular tag is listed first not the alphabetically highest. This is the "Main" tag a large majority of the time, but there are some edge cases where two big tags are listed (like porting question). However, this doesn't really have that negative of an effect in my opinion. I would recommend leaving it as is.

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