So, I see that SO has moved to put the most popular tag in the beginning of the <title> to fight site scrapers. But, this is harmful to User Experience. With browsers like Google Chrome, all I can see is the first few characters of the title, and it becomes annoying to try to find the right tab.

So, my request: Can you remove the tag from the <title> using JavaScript? Crawlers will still see the SEO-friendly <title>, and users won't have their user experience hampered by it. We all win.

  • 2
    Queue the greasemonkey scripters... Dec 10, 2010 at 22:59
  • 6
    @Farseeker Why do we need them in FIFO format? ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Dec 11, 2010 at 0:09
  • @grace - sorry, I don't get it? Dec 11, 2010 at 3:18
  • 1
    @Farseeker en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFO
    – Yahel
    Dec 11, 2010 at 3:22
  • Oh. I know what FIFO is, but not sure how that relates to my comment Dec 11, 2010 at 4:24
  • 7
    @Farseeker: Your usage of "queue" in that context was an irresistible "cue" for the language lawyers to assemble themselves into a "FIFO" for the purpose of teasing you.
    – Jim Lewis
    Dec 11, 2010 at 5:44
  • 1
    @Jim - oh, right. I'm not a programmer - hence why I'm guessing I didn't get the joke (still not sure if I do, but I think we'll just leave it be). Dec 12, 2010 at 1:27

2 Answers 2


While SOIS might not want to do it, we, as the user, can. And the script is absolutely ridiculously simple - so simple that I'm surprised nobody has posted it yet.

// ==UserScript==
// @name          Stack Exchange Title Tag Remover
// @namespace     yijiang
// @include       http://stackoverflow.com/questions/*
// @include       http://superuser.com/questions/*
// @include       http://serverfault.com/questions/*
// @include       http://askubuntu.com/questions/*
// @include       http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/*
// @include       http://nothingtoinstall.com/questions/*
// @include       http://seasonedadvice.com/questions/*
// @include       http://crossvalidated.com/questions/*
// @include       http://stackapps.com/questions/*
// @include       http://*.stackexchange.com/questions/*
// @include       https://stackoverflow.com/questions/*
// @include       https://superuser.com/questions/*
// @include       https://serverfault.com/questions/*
// @include       https://askubuntu.com/questions/*
// @include       https://answers.onstartups.com/questions/*
// @include       https://nothingtoinstall.com/questions/*
// @include       https://seasonedadvice.com/questions/*
// @include       https://crossvalidated.com/questions/*
// @include       https://stackapps.com/questions/*
// @include       https://*.stackexchange.com/questions/*
// ==/UserScript==

if(!isNaN(parseInt(window.location.pathname.split('/')[2]), 10)){
    var title = document.getElementsByTagName('h1')[0];
    title = title.innerText || title.textContent;
    document.title = title + document.title.substring(document.title.lastIndexOf('-') - 1);

Install - Source

However, because of the fact that userscripts can only run after the page has loaded the tags will still appear for a fraction of a second after the page starts loading.

Edit: Meta sites now removed because they won't have this "feature" according to Jeff Atwood

  • It's been posted, maybe here, maybe on Webmasters. You can't do it like this though - tag isn't always included and if the title when it isn't has a hyphen...oops. Pull the question title out of the page and use that instead. Dec 11, 2010 at 2:40
  • @RebeccaChernoff Fixed that, thanks :P
    – Yi Jiang
    Dec 11, 2010 at 3:01
  • This would also rewrite page names like "User Arjan - Stack Overflow" into "Arjan - Stack Overflow", and remove the title from "Ask a question" or when editing a post? If that's a problem, then I guess one could throw in jQuery (loaded anyhow) and use var title = $("#question-header h1").text();. Next, only replace if title has a value.
    – Arjan
    Dec 12, 2010 at 9:49
  • 1
    @Arjan It shouldn't - the @include rules will stop it from running on the user pages, and the first if statement will stop it from running on /question/ask pages. Also, because of userscript sandboxing, you can't "just" throw in a little jQuery - you'll have to use unsafeWindow for GM, and, even worse, script injection for Chrome
    – Yi Jiang
    Dec 12, 2010 at 10:27
  • Ah, you're totally right! (I should have seen the @include but still glad I commented, as I didn't know about that jQuery usage. Thanks!)
    – Arjan
    Dec 12, 2010 at 10:58
  • Would you submit it to userscripts.org (or host it on your own site) for easier installation please? Dec 17, 2010 at 18:17
  • @hheimbuerger Done!
    – Yi Jiang
    Dec 18, 2010 at 2:25
  • @Yi Jiang Awesome, thanks. I've already been using it since yesterday, and so far it seems to work fine. Dec 18, 2010 at 13:20
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    You should add this to the StackApps scripts section: stackapps.com/?tab=scripts
    – Yahel
    Feb 23, 2011 at 18:55

I don't know - Google frowns on that kind of thing (showing a different visual presentation to the user vs the search engine). It could have severe adverse consequences.

  • 5
    I don't know if this would really count as a significant change to the page, though. IMHO it wouldn't be a big deal to remove this via JavaScript, particularly if you consider how many other things can change via JavaScript on the page for totally normal reasons.. like "show more comments" etc Dec 11, 2010 at 1:01
  • 4
    @Jeff does that mean you'll consider doing it?
    – Yahel
    Dec 11, 2010 at 1:55
  • 1
    I agree to Joel Coehoorn. If the real users should not see the tag in the title, the crawler should not see it either. Dec 12, 2010 at 13:49
  • The Google bot is able to parse and execute JS. So it might take the change of the title tag too serious, too. ;) Nov 17, 2016 at 15:04

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