I like including game names in my question titles. I feel it makes more grammatical sense and gives a clearer indication of what the question is about. From time to time, though, I see an editor come through and delete the game name from the title, calling it unnecessary. And I'm ok with that - standards are standards for a reason.

Then, while I was writing this question: Can I change the difficulty in Metal Gear Rising? , I chose to disobey the naming conventions.

Here's why:

We have half a dozen questions titled How Can I Change The Difficulty

We already have half a dozen questions titled "How Can I Change The Difficulty?"

I realize that most of the time, there's no problem removing the name from the title; it's unambiguous enough to say "What can I do with Dragon Bones and Scales?" without adding "...in Skyrim", but in this case I feel that the game name in the title could only improve clarity.

  • Is there a standard for when we should edit game names out of question titles?
  • If there is a standard, what's the rationale?
  • If not, can I use my judgment?

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Tags are added where they are added because of SEO, where keywords at the start of a title are weighted more heavily than keywords at the end of a title. –  badp Mar 4 '13 at 8:34
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Could we possibly request a feature where the list of alternatives that is suggested is filtered by tag where the tag is present, or possibly include the tag in the list of alternative questions like they are in the page title? –  user27134 Mar 4 '13 at 10:01
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Raised the above suggestion on meta –  user27134 Mar 4 '13 at 15:49

2 Answers 2

Game names in titles are not necessary, as the name is already in a tag. The general guidelines is to avoid putting tags in the title, unless the tag fits in naturally.

So the following would be bad

Metal Gear Rising: Can I change the difficulty?

but adding the tag into the question with proper grammar would be okay:

Can I change the difficulty in Metal Gear Rising?

In cases like this, where the question itself is completely generic and applies to many games, adding the title perfectly acceptable, it might be even necessary to circumvent the duplicate title check (you can't have two questions with exactly the same title on the site).

Cases where I would avoid putting in the name in the title are all questions that have rather long titles. I tend to only add it for very short and generic titles.

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I agree with needing it sometimes to circumvent the duplicate title check, but we really shouldn't have the game name in the title at all afterwards. –  Frank Mar 4 '13 at 15:16
    
Apparently tagging already takes game names into account when adding them to the title. I was under the impression it didn't. Consider my objection withdrawn. –  Frank Mar 4 '13 at 16:03
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@fbueckert I would generally omit the title for anything except gneeric and short questions that could apply to any game. As long as we take the whole issue into account and only tag with the game name, we don't have to worry about SEO in our titles. –  Mad Scientist Mar 4 '13 at 19:54

Simply and sadly enough, when SE didn't put tags at the start of the page title, Stack Overflow was getting outranked on Google by scrapers that did. Putting tags at the start of the page title is the only thing that worked.

We don't want to have all question titles look like "Metal Gear Solid 3: how can I jump?" (why would we have tags to begin with, then?), so this is why we prefer typically to leave the game name out of the question.

Now, there is an implicit feature request here to fix the list of "Questions that may already have your answer", for example by adding tags next to each suggested question. If you think that might help I suggest you see here.

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Esto, also brought up aqui? –  Grace Note Mar 4 '13 at 16:10

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