This retagging privilege page - https://cooking.stackexchange.com/privileges/retag-questions - has a section called "When should I retag a question". I was hoping for an answer to the question I'm now asking.

Should I retag old questions? Maybe only in some situations?

If there is a definitive answer to this question, can someone update that privilege page?

Update: Here's an example...

I was searching for an answer last night and found this Oct. 8th, 2010 post - Baking chicken - temperature vs time. If you look at the revision history you'll see that it was double-tagged with "baking" and also lacked the "temperature" tag. In any case, after updating it, I noticed it went back to the home page and was a bit surprised.

  • you'd have to provide specific examples Jan 16, 2011 at 3:27
  • In a general sense (I can't speak for anything specific to Seasoned Advice if it's different from this general sense), the main thing to watch out for with retagging old posts is to avoid overwhelming the new and active content. Isolated retags, like your example, are typically fine since it won't interfere that much with the day's activity. It'll need to be retagged at some point or another, or we're left with bad tagging. But if you went and retagged 50 old questions, thereby flooding the front page... that's when it gets messy.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jan 17, 2011 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


This subject has been discussed on Meta Stack Overflow, but many of the answers there are really only applicable to high-traffic sites, so maybe it's worth setting some guidelines here.

First of all, don't shy away from retagging, editing, or doing anything else to a question just because it's old. Old questions need love too. In fact, they probably need more of it, since they're not appearing at the top of the page for everybody who visits.

Next, make sure you've read the tagging guidelines. Actually, I think that question is getting a little long in the tooth and needs some revisions, but it's better than nothing.

Finally, some numbers. At present:

  • We get 5-10 new questions per day.
  • The oldest question on our front page is 3 days old.
  • The front page shows 50 questions.
  • On a high-res (1280px), maximized window, there are 10 titles visible without scrolling.

You should be able to infer some consequences from this with respect to the frequency of retags. In particular:

  • If you bump more than 10 questions at once, through retagging or editing, then you are pushing new questions out of the normal field of view (many people don't bother to scroll).

  • If you bump more than 20 questions at once, you are shortening the front-page lifetime of relatively-new questions by a full day.

  • If you bump more than 50 questions at once, you will have ended up pushing every recent question off the front page.

So please, retag/edit in moderation. We are still a small site, so do your edits in small quantities. If you plan to do a mass retagging, please notify us on meta first, and if what you really want is to rename a tag, then create a here on meta and one of the moderators can do it - instantly, without bumping any questions at all.

But other than that, go nuts. Definitely retag any new questions if you see any issues, and feel free to retag up to 5-10 older questions per day, as long as there aren't a bunch of other people doing the same thing. Also favour unanswered questions if you can; not that there's anything wrong with bumping an answered one, but unanswered questions will actually benefit from the extra attention.

Oh, and if you feel like doing some cleanup, just for the hell of it, I'd love to see the and tags disappear completely over time; they're weeds from the 7-day private beta that sprouted roots and grew everywhere. and aren't much better.

One final note: If you see duplicate tags on a question, it's likely the result of a tag merge. In particular, if you saw appear twice, it's probably because I merged with it and some people had both on their question.

  • thanks. The stat synopsis nicely helps put things in perspective.
    – zanlok
    Jan 28, 2011 at 19:58

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