The full names of the second and third games in The Witcher franchise are The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Since we have a 35 character tag limit, we should expand the tags for these to their full names:
The tag should be expanded to be consistent with other tags on the site
Looking at tags for numbered games, we already are in the habit of using the full name of the game including the subtitle. For instance:
Adding the subtitles for the Witcher games continues this practice that is already established and provides more consistency for the site.
Also, in the rare event that someone does search for the full game name, our results will be more likely to match.
It won't affect SEO
Update: Read Robotnik's far more thorough analysis of SEO. My original answer is below.
As @Robotnik has noted in the comments, SEO will not be affected.
On the SEO front, I've done some checking. Google no longer checks a list of 'meta tags' (to stop sites from tag-spamming), so the only things that matter on SE sites are the Nav Title, The Question Title (added to the nav title), the first tag (appended to the Nav Title), and the meta description (first couple of sentences from the question body).
He clarified as well that, despite initial investigations, it doesn't look like the nav title will be affected either.
When I checked, Google doesn't seem to pull from the nav title for the blue link, they appear to grab the question title instead. So a tag change shouldn't affect that.
This answer is more to clarify some points that I made in comments regarding SEO and to provide image evidence of what I'm talking about with regards to Page (or 'Nav') Title vs Question Title, what Google uses, what changing a tag will do, and so forth.
For the purposes of example, I'll use this question: So I was out drinking last night...how do I remove a tattoo? - the highest voted question tagged the-witcher-2, it has high views as well, making it a prime example.
So here's the page, rendered in a private browser window (Firefox):
This is the view that every 'drive by' user sees when they visit Arqade (probably with ads though, I left Adblock enabled for this as the ads aren't really relevant to the point at hand).
Page Title vs Question Title:
There are a couple of things to point out here:
As you can see, the Page title is different from the Question title: it contains the first tag on the question, and then the question title. If we view the page's source (i.e. the raw HTML) - we can see the full Page title, which shows that it also appends '- Arqade' to the end of the Page title:
Side note: Adding the Game's name anywhere in the question will stop it from being also added from the tag, for example:
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is a large topic encompassing many different techniques to improve a site's visibility in search results. A lot of these techniques aren't relevant to us as users of the site (instead, they're relevant to the Stack Exchange Developers!) - but the main 3 areas where we can have an impact on SEO are:
- Question Titles
- Question Body
The first two form part of the Page Title - which Google appears to use... sometimes. I have seen evidence of them both pulling and not pulling from the Page title. Google's SEO guide has this to say:
Create good titles and snippets in search results
If your document appears in a search results page, the contents of the title tag may appear in the first line of the results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide
So the Page title is used by Google, and therefore a Tag change will affect this.
How will a tag change affect rankings?
Here's a few searches showing how the above question ranks:
The search terms is what I would expect people looking for this information would type into Google. For the given searches, it seems to rank somewhere between third and fourth result. If we compare to the other results present - you can see that they generally have the search terms "higher" in the title - whereas for our result, it's cut off.
So in general, If we increase tag lengths, we risk pushing down or 'cutting off' the more relevant words of the title.
For our specific question example, we could potentially:
- Remove the 'out drinking' portion of the question title, Or
- Add the game to the end of the question i.e. "...in The Witcher 2?", the tag would be removed from the nav title, and it wouldn't 'push out' the more relevant portion of the question, or
- We could do both!
That's the thing with SEO, is that it's meant to be a bunch of 'incremental improvements' that add up to our content being easier to find and more accessible.
- Tag changes affect SEO... for questions that don't already have the name of the game in them.
- Tag length can mess with results if the question title is long
- People should append "..in GameName" to their questions if they don't want the tag at the front of the Nav title.
So, should we rename The Witcher tags?
Keeping in mind that tags can affect SEO - I'd still say probably yes. Take a closer look at those search results again - each one except us uses the full game name, either in the title or the description.
I think that having the full game name appear in the Page title would probably end up helping SEO for the majority of questions, even if it does push some more relevant keywords a little further down. That problem should instead be mitigated by ensuring that the question is concise enough, or by putting the game title further down in the question, so the tag doesn't end up at the front in the first place.