It seems that tags added to questions are reordered by popularity, most popular is the leftmost and least popular tag is the rightmost. It seems that this behavior has been recently changed.

I think that the tags should be in the order question asker or editor specifies them. If I tag something as server java it should stay that way and not become java server, just because java happens to be more popular tag. Maybe server describes my problem more accurately than java, so server should be first. What do others think about this?

  • I specifically tagged this question as "tagging tags discussion" but the system changed the order. Commented May 25, 2010 at 17:36
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    This is a recently added feature, see Jeff's statement here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/50794/…
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 25, 2010 at 17:37
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    FWIW, a java server is usually known as a "waiter/waitress" (or "barista" if you want to be fancy about it). They provide a valuable service and are worthy of your respect. "server java" OTOH, is a vile, caustic liquid consumed by BOFHs and other assorted IT creatures, and is entirely unsuitable for human consumption.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 25, 2010 at 17:49
  • @Shog9 With that statement, you have almost become as great of a hero to me as Jørn Schou-Rode.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 25, 2010 at 17:52
  • Can you give some examples where this is actually a problem? Because I only check the tags if I can't make anything out of the title and that's not a problem tags should have to solve
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Dec 11, 2010 at 7:25
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    I just ran into this and find it very irritating. I just posted a question that's mostly about openstack and bridging but also about iptables. Since iptables is a far more popular tag than openstack, the HTML <title> of my question starts with "iptables -" rather than "openstack -". serverfault.com/questions/425804/…
    – cas
    Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 1:16

2 Answers 2


It seems to be a new feature, which I don't feel is a good thing.

Tags should be in order of importance, which the OP is best qualified to decide.

It would be nice if it was easier to order tags (click and drag) instead of having to cut-and-paste or retype them.

  • OTOH, this change should serve to thoroughly scramble the tags on posts where users just paste in their titles. Maybe, maybe it'll help them get a clue...
    – Shog9
    Commented May 25, 2010 at 19:14
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    the OP asker is qualified for just about nothing based on most of my experience, much less specifying order of tags Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 23:53
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    @JeffAtwood, that's obnoxious. There are some questions asked by advanced (high-rep) users, & questions are routinely edited by more experienced users to make them better able to be found & answered. Moreover, not all one-time & low-rep users are morons. It is possible for the OP or an editor to identify the most important subject of the question & want to help communicate this by putting that tag 1st w/o having to leave off more frequent--& related--but less important tags. Commented Jun 4, 2012 at 20:56

Tags exist to categorize the questions they're attached to. They're independent of each other, and may be merged, renamed, or removed without regard to their order or importance on any particular question.

Titles exist to introduce and summarize the questions they're attached to. Each title exists independently from all other titles, and can be edited and refined by the author or any competent editor.

If and represent topics your question pertains to, then make sure they're included in the tags.

If the terms "server" and "java" are both critical to understanding your problem, then make sure they're in the title. But also make sure the title is a clear statement of your problem. If this means wording it such that "server" comes before "java", then so be it.

  • Agreed. Otherwise, to be clear, one should explicitly mark one tag as "head tag". Relying on the order is not likely to work, unless one makes this very clear through the UI, which in turn would be tantamount to having head categories/tags; so either that, or all tags should be equal. Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 4:06
  • The first tag is included in HTML title, so system make it "head tag" and may change intend of PO. Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 22:16

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