Here are some tips for tagging questions. These guidelines will help you more accurately tag your questions, which in turn will help them get more attention and lead to better answers faster.
Effective Tags - Bring more attention to your question
- Each tag should stand on its own: if a tag only makes sense when used in a group with other tags, it's wrong. For example, tagging a question as
[studio](two tags) is wrong.
- Pick tags that show higher counts in the look-ahead prompts, as they are more likely to make your question appear highlighted for a user on the main page or show up in someone's feed of watched tags.
- At a minimum, try to include at least one very broad tag (e.g.,
c#) and one other tag to narrow the topic down within that broader category (e.g.,
- You are limited to five tags, and you are generally better off trying to use as many of them as you can, provided they follow the guidelines here.
- Try to use broad tags. For example, you usually want to include both a general tag (
windows) and a specific version tag (
windows-10) rather than just the specific tag. While tagging a question
cortanaon Super User might convey exactly the information you intend (it implies Windows, Windows 10, and Cortana all in one tag), tagging it
windows windows-10 cortanawill bring your question lots more attention, since more people will watch the generic
windows-10tags. There is of course a trade-off: you used three tags to convey the same information you could have done with one. However, it's hard to understate how many more views the generic tags will bring to your question.
- Try not to create new tags. If you create a new tag, that tag is guaranteed not to help your question show up on any subscribed RSS feeds or watched tag lists. Again, the look-ahead prompt can help with this. Odds are it also means you're missing an existing tag for that topic that would more accurately categorize your question. See When should I create a new tag? How do I request a new tag if I don't have enough rep?
- Don't try to summarize your question using the tags. The point of tags on Stack Exchange is to help other interested users find your question by sorting it into clear, specific categories. This is not the same as indexing or summarizing the question. The differences are subtle, but important. Unlike many other formats like video, search engines can find your question using the text.
- Don't use tags that are not about your question. Again, the point of tags here is to help sort your question into clear, specific categories. Don't just slap a tag on your question just because it happens to mention a certain topic; only use tags that are actually about your question's topic. Tags that the question is not about don't belong.
- Don't use your username for a tag.
- Don't use meta tags. Even if it already exists. A meta tag is any tag that doesn't categorize the content of the question, but simply indicates the nature of the question. Examples include
- Don't violate any site-specific policies regarding tag usage. For example, some tags may be slated for manual community removal from all questions per procedures defined by the site community, and Super User prohibits tags that are simply the name of a company and not a specific product.
- Use all lower-case
- Replaces spaces with dashes (-) to combine multiple words into a single word (i.e, Tag "
Unit Testing" as "
- Avoid punctuation. This can make it difficult to use the tag in a URL
- A number of tags predate the guidelines, and are therefore formatted differently. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't follow these rules when creating tags. If you find one of these, you should file a request on the per-site meta requesting that the tag be renamed to meet the guidelines.
- When naming a tag, think about how someone would search for that subject. In most cases, this means typing out the full name, but you may also want to use the abbreviation in some cases. For example, "
css" is probably more appropriate than "
Retagging a question is making any edit to a question that changes the tags.
- Do not retag a question if you are not going to add value to the question information by doing so.
- Do retag questions to use well-known and popular tags that are appropriate for the question.
Is There a Standard for Tag Names?
Please do not re-tag a question if you are not going to add valuable information by doing it.
Please do not use tags as an attention-getting-device if you don't have sufficient privileges in the system (i.e., adding
Please do not use the "duplicate" tag or any other tag that does not contribute to categorizing the question, including
[not-programming-related]. These kinds of tags are known as meta-tags; more information about them can be found here.
Multi-word tags should have the words separated by a dash, unless it is a proper name that does not have a space between the words. (I.e.,
Avoid creating new tags, if at all possible. Double-check your spelling if necessary. Some tags could have local variations (i.e., color or colour), some are predominantly singular or predominantly plural (i.e., color or colors), and some may have synonyms with completely different spellings (i.e., newbie or beginner). If a similar concept tag is already available, please do not create a new tag: use the existing tag instead. The goal is to categorize your question.