I often see edits which remove tags like "C#", "SQL", etc. from question titles. Why are tags in titles considered bad practice?

It doesn't make things unclear; it doesn't confuse anybody. But, most importantly, this enables search engines to find relevant posts much easier, especially if some concept or technology is present in different languages.

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    I would be staggered if search engines didn't search the tags – Richard Tingle Jan 23 '14 at 16:31
  • Actually the tags appear in search engines text. See this google search check the name of the first result as it appears on google, then click through and see how it appears on StackOverflow. – Amicable Jan 23 '14 at 16:33
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    They do, but often words that are near each other means a lot more for the engine than just some tag for a page – Sasha Jan 23 '14 at 16:34
  • you can try searching any tag name in google with restriction to stackoverflow site and you'll see that top-links all contain tag in the title. So it is considered more relevant by Google – Sasha Jan 23 '14 at 16:36
  • Also: "Using" Tags in the Title – Amicable Jan 23 '14 at 16:38
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    Tag names are automatically prepended to the page title for SEO purposes (edit: ah, not anymore apparently. SO are doing just fine SEO-wise though.) – Pekka Jan 23 '14 at 16:38
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    For example this search (in which I only searched for tags) shows the question I was looking for on the third entry down. It looks like the OP appended java at the front, but they didn't. In fact only one of the 5 tags is in the title, (some others in the main body - naturally) – Richard Tingle Jan 23 '14 at 16:40
  • Yeah, they are already optimizing for this somehow, by some formula. – Pekka Jan 23 '14 at 16:42
  • Ok, thank you. Looks like I made not enough investigation before asking. My search with C# returned all questions with "C#" in the question title. – Sasha Jan 23 '14 at 16:43
  • @Pëkka the most popular tag is prepended to the page title, if it isn't included in the question title already. – 3ventic Jan 23 '14 at 17:42

Titles are primarily for humans. SO is doing just fine on Google juice and the algorithms don't need your help. So write for people. That means that

SQL, C#: find top 3 sales reps

is a crappy title but

Why doesn't this SQL query correctly return the top 3 sales reps?

is a better one. It's not "don't use tag words in titles" it's "don't stick tag words artificially at the beginning or end of titles in the belief you're making your question more findable - you're not."


The main tag is appended to the title for Google searches (by being added into the title element), so it doesn't need to be added to the title.

Google Tag Append

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