Sometimes, I encounter questions with vague titles: they do not always specify what is really being asked.

For example, there is a question called How do I find all the files that were created today in Unix/Linux? which is asking only about files on Linux/Unix. This is clearly a useful question, but I think "How do I find all the files that were created today in Unix/Linux?" would be a more descriptive title.

In a situation such as this one, should I change the title to describe a question's topic more accurately, or should I leave the question's title as-is?

  • I don't think the edit you made was any more descriptive than the original title. Why do you think it helps improve the question? – psubsee2003 Sep 1 '13 at 0:27
  • @psubsee2003 The previous title did not describe the operating system(s) that the question was relevant to. Also, the original title contained a minor grammatical error. – Anderson Green Sep 1 '13 at 1:06
  • The tags describe that information. So why does it need to be in the title? – psubsee2003 Sep 1 '13 at 1:07

I'd leave it alone; the tags accurately convey the environment. It has already been established that tags are not necessary in titles. That said, since the new title does read naturally, it's okay and in fact encouraged, but I don't think it's worth an edit, and if it were a suggested edit, I would reject it for being too minor.

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  • A clearer title will nonetheless be useful to search engine users, since it will allow them to understand the question's topic easily by glancing at the title. – Anderson Green Sep 1 '13 at 1:02
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    @Anderson: “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.” —Should questions include “tags” in their titles? – icktoofay Sep 1 '13 at 1:03
  • Nonetheless, a Google search for this question doesn't show any of the question's tags in front of the title. – Anderson Green Sep 1 '13 at 1:11
  • @AndersonGreen do you know if it did before you edited the tags into the title? Tags are not added if the tags are already in the title, so your edit might have confused things a bit, – psubsee2003 Sep 1 '13 at 1:15
  • @psubsee2003 I didn't edit in any of the tags, so I'm not sure why it showed up in search results without any tags. The tags were present in the question from the very beginning. – Anderson Green Sep 1 '13 at 1:16
  • @AndersonGreen no, you added "LINUX/UNIX" to the title. That suppresses the automatic adding of tags to the title for SEO/Google searches. Since you made the edit, you are probably looking at a cached version of the title but SO is not adding the tags because they are in the question title. – psubsee2003 Sep 1 '13 at 1:21

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