Are tags supposed to reflect questions only, or should they reflect both question and answers? Should one update the tags if the thread comes with an answer that brings in new solutions asker didn't know to ask but answers indicate so?

I have always worked on the assumption that tags reflect both the answers and questions. More on questions than answers, but still even answers benefit from searching (after all people searching probably look for answers). It is just that i have never actually put any thought into how I really should have been operating.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you provide an example of an answer that changed which tags you felt were appropriate for the question to which it was submitted? $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


Tags are primarily for the question. That said, there's little harm in editing the question to clarify things and add in tags that the answers address.

At the root of your question, you have to think of how the tags are selected in the first place. It's the author of the question saying "I think these tags are relevant to what I'm trying to ask." And the author has to tag the question before it can even be asked.

Updating the tags based upon the answers puts effort on the community to edit & re-tag the question. Nothing wrong with that, but it generally doesn't happen.

In the cases where good answers deviate from the original track of the question, it's a good idea to edit the question and draw in those alternative answers. That would be a perfect time to add tags based upon the answers. This would likely be the case in a XY question (asker asks X, problem is Y) where the 'correct' answers solve Y and not X.


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