I've seen several questions that have created tags that are only used once. These tags, while they may be pertinent to that single question, don't really seem to fit with other questions (or I can't imagine other people using these tags frequently).

What can be done about these tags? Should anything be done about these tags? (Am I worrying to much about cleaning?) ;)

  • Now we have over 70K questions, should we be doing some tag cleanup? In particular, the "date" tags are a mess. There's [date], [date-format], [datetime], and [datetime2] -- none of which have a description or a wiki entry. Shall I make a new meta question on just these? Aug 4, 2014 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


Here's what I have to say on the matter (may be right or wrong):

A tag is something that helps to categorize a thing. But the categorization also matters outside of the site, as it's used by google as well to help index the page better. Right now we have ~ 1400 questions, so to say "there's a whole bunch of x1 tags" is probably to be expected. Let's say we go through right now and remove all the x1 tags. In six months, there will likely be some of those same tags again at x1, whereas they would be at x2 by then.

Also, many users tend to look and see if a tag already exists, and if it does, they use that tag. If it doesn't, they pick again looking for a new tag. So now we've lost information twice if we remove the tags now.

Lastly: Tags are about helping you quickly find what you want. So the more the better.

Those are the beneficial points of tagging; here's the detrimental parts:

vs -- at no time should a tag be "plural" if it does not mandate exactly a condition that the question is about (for instance, a bug that manifests only on multiple indexes on a specific tabletype on this vendor, then would be of benefit). So if you see these sorts of tags, either retag them or notify us (flag).

Tags with a count of 0 are deleted nightly.

So as for "do we need to clean these up" ... present a valid reason for removing a tag or just leave it alone. I for one am fine with the volume of the tags present. We should likely re-evaluate after 10,000 questions.

  • I think you have some great points. Also, I forget about the google factor.
    – Richard
    Aug 11, 2011 at 22:00

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