Yesterday we renamed [star-wars-tor] to [star-wars-old-republic].

Well, it looks like it didn't work. When I search...

Apparently Google's acronym expansion of SWTOR → Star Wars: The Old Republic only works on exact matches, so our "star wars old republic" fails to match that.

So the question is: what are people searching? "SWTOR", "Star Wars: The Old Republic", "Old Republic"? Google Search Trends shows:

  • "SWTOR" = 100
  • "Old Republic" = 76
  • "Star Wars: The Old Republic" = 0.44

Even more interesting, Google Insights shows the top searches for "swtor":

  1. star wars 100
  2. guide swtor 100
  3. swtor server 80
  4. swtor skills 75
  5. swtor wiki 75
  6. swtor companion 75
  7. the old republic 70
  8. swtor crew skills 60
  9. companions swtor 55
  10. swtor twitter 55

vs. Old Republic:

  1. the old republic 100
  2. star wars 85
  3. star wars old 80
  4. star 80
  5. starwars old republic 10
  6. starwars 5
  7. swtor 5
  8. old republic release 5
  9. old republic game 5
  10. old republic wiki 5

The vast majority of search traffic for "Old Republic" is just searching for basic info about the game. Searches for "SWTOR" however are often paired with other key words, which is the kind of stuff we should be matching on.

My conclusion: people are searching swtor * and we aren't matching at all for those searches. If we want to rank for any SWTOR searches, we need to have either "swtor" or "star-wars-the-old-republic" as the tag, but the latter it too long by two characters. In the interests of growing the site we should switch the tag to "swtor", and then start thinking about a better permanent solution for games with long titles.

  • 1
    "swtor" is a good candidate for searching, cause it disambiguates from the "Knights of the Old Republic" game and us MMORPG players love our acronyms. :)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:13
  • will this tag renaming mess up the hatdash counts by any chance?
    – l I
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:18
  • 1
    Our stance in the past had been to use the proper names for titles, I think partially so we don't have a mess of undecipherable acronyms as tags (sc2/tf2/lol/wow/bf3/mw3). So are we changing our global tagging policy to "whatever trends the highest"?
    – FAE
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:19
  • 4
    @FallenAngelEyes I think the problem stems from the fact that star-wars-the-old-republic is too long.
    – l I
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:23
  • 1
    @yx.: No, the hats are unaffected. We'll just change what tag the hat is awarded for, and all is well.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:55
  • 1
    @yx. [star-wars-tor] and [star-wars-old-republic] do fit under the current tagging system though and are inline with naming conventions we've used in the past in order to deal with the limit. David's making this change based on SEO though, not tag limitations, so I'm wondering if this is indicative of a greater change in policy that we have to take into account.
    – FAE
    Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 12:03
  • @David Fullerton Ping for above comment to yx.
    – FAE
    Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 12:05
  • @FallenAngelEyes We're still feeling it out, so I don't think there needs to be a policy change yet. Proper names are still preferable and should normally be perfectly searchable. In this case, it wasn't. We don't need to tag with whatever trends highest, but we do need to make sure people can find our questions. Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


When I search, its usually just TOR, but I guess some people may be using SWTOR, certainly better than star-wars-old-republic. How do the tag synonyms work out, will they be redirected to the correct tag for the purposes of google searches?

  • Hm, interesting, I hadn't considered TOR. Looks like SWTOR is still beating TOR though google.com/… Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:13
  • 1
    Tag synonyms mean that if they type the synonym in to a question or search, it'll get corrected to the master tag. Google doesn't know anything about synonyms though, so they have no effect on Google searches (if that's what you're asking) Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 15:14
  • 1
    I search "swtor" myself. Better results that way. Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 18:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .