If I title my question (e.g.) "What is PHP?" and tag it , the question page gets titled

<title>php - What is PHP?</title>

but if I had instead tagged the question — or if I edited the question and retagged it to — , the new title of the question page would be

<title>php5 - What is PHP?</title>

The title prefix changed from "php - " to "php5 - ".

Question 1: What is the priority or procedure followed by Stack Exchange to re-<title> the questions in this manner?

Question 2: If I really need the <title>-prefix to be "php - " instead of "php5 - ", what should I do?

  • 2
    Tags shouldn't be added to the <title> if it's in the question title itself. The php in the first one shouldn't appear...
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 8, 2012 at 16:16
  • 2
    @Ben - <title>, not question title. The tag is automatically prepended to the title in the page's <title> attribute, as displayed in the tab bar. Jun 8, 2012 at 16:18
  • Why would you need anything specific for the page title? That should not be of your concern, the title is adjusted for SEO reasons.
    – Felix
    Jun 8, 2012 at 16:18
  • @KevinVermeer shouldn't be in this case; the title attribute only gets the tag appended if it's not in the question title...I've seen it myself in Google results
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 8, 2012 at 16:19
  • @BenBrocka, If I prefix question title itself with "php - ", will <title> not get prefixed with "php5 - php -"? Jun 8, 2012 at 16:23
  • 1
    Most likely. But DON'T do that. Keep tags out of titles as much as possible. Certainly as a separate item at the beginning of a title.
    – Bart
    Jun 8, 2012 at 16:24
  • @BenBrocka, I tried it. It doesn't work... Jun 8, 2012 at 16:24
  • Ben is right, @Kevin, tags should not be added to the <title> if they are already in the title; see Scrapers enter the scene - was the choice of license right?
    – Arjan
    Jun 8, 2012 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


With regards to your first question and based on this answer by Rebecca Chernoff as well as this one, it seems that the top two tags for your question are taken into regard. When the title already contains the top tag, the second one is considered. As she points out, this is done with regards to search engine optimization.

And with regards to your second question, there really is no need for you to worry about the content that appears within the <title> tags.

Even in your question title itself, you should really try to avoid inserting what are essentially tags. There is no need for them as separate items at the beginning or end of a title.

If they organically appear as part of the title, that's sometimes understandable. But other than that they are better avoided. After all, that's what the actual at the bottom are for.

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