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Why do we tag questions?

there is nothing to criticize, but just from functionality perspective, why would tags still needed if the message body contains bulk of text already from which the search index could be build and then the search functionality could be provided.

the tagging system was firstly introduced by flicker to allow users to use tags to describe the pictures, same was used by youtube to "summerize" the video clips, by saying that, wouldn't the tags be redundant for text data? is there a strong reason why would stackoverflow designers want to use the tags at all?

  • 3
    From the helpful text when you click "Ask Question": If your question is about this website, ask it on meta instead.
    – babtek
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 6:13
  • Should be on meta.stackoverflow.com.
    – Mudassir
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 6:16
  • @waiwai933, that's pretty much answers my question. thanks.
    – tom
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


Tags are used as keywords, to point out what's important.

Taking keywords from the text of a question would miscategorise some questions. A question may for example contain the word "windows" without having anything to do with the operating system.

  • what you said makes sense. a minor question - why call them tags but not keywords then?
    – tom
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 6:30
  • @tom it's a fairly standard term that describes standard functionality. We can say 'they are used as keywords' to describe how they are used, but they are correctly called 'tags'. Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 7:01

Tags enable people with knowledge in a particular topic to list questions regarding that topic quickly.

Providing them the facility to look through questions on selected topics.

Also the question asker gets to highlight the topic of his question so that the best in that topic can answer it.

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