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Currently, the tags use the abbreviated form, which stems back to the discussion here:

Tag Synonym Request: [PS1] -> [Playstation-1] ; [PS2] -> [Playstation-2] ; [PS3] -> [Playstation-3]

However our current stance on tag names/abbreviations (as far as I can see) is to only abbreviate when a tag doesn't fit within the 25-character limit, as eloquently explained by Grace here:

How to tag: use acronyms or not?

The argument 'for' abbreviations has always been Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (and a little... ahem, subtle nudging from Jeff). Sure, more people search for over . By that same note, more people simply search for instead of or .

I don't think it's as big a deal as made out when it comes to PSX vs Playstation X, they're both pretty ubiquitous.

So, should we reverse these synonyms?

If there's any I've missed let me know.

  • For me personally, it seems a little jarring to be scrolling around in full-tag-land to come across a [ps3][ps4][psn] style question. But I'm open to different opinions. Tasty, tasty opinions. I'm sure the Internet will not fail to provide ;) – Robotnik Feb 18 '14 at 6:40
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    Who actually calls the first PlayStation the PlayStation X? – badp Feb 18 '14 at 8:54
  • Not me that's for sure – Robotnik Feb 18 '14 at 9:00
  • @Vaishali - Most Battlefield questions use 'bf3' or 'bf4' in their titles, indeed most gamers that play these games refer to them using the abbreviation. Do you also believe we should reverse our Battlefield tags to bf3/bf4 as well, to better serve the ADD gaming community? What other tags should we revert to use acronyms if that is the case? – Robotnik Feb 19 '14 at 3:40
  • @Vaishali of course. We are currently using synonyms, the [playstation-3] tag is currently synonimised to the [ps3] tag (and so on for all the tags listed above), which is what I'm advocating to reverse – Robotnik Feb 19 '14 at 4:11
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tl;dr: No, keep , et. al.

As with any tag, I strongly advise using the most recognized term or optionally terms that Google recognizes as synonymous. A while back we committed a cardinal sin, ignoring SEO, by renaming to (which nobody would ever search for), then to (just as bad), then finally back to because the original tag was best. (The 26-character tag might have also been fine because of Google synonymization, but was impossible.)

So, regarding PlayStations... Here it might(?) be a bit more obvious, as google seems relatively aware of the synonym, but I'm not 100% sure. Searching for "PS4" results (nobody searches for "PlayStation 4"), doesn't make it very evident; search results don't have "PlayStation 4" in bold, as though it recognized that as the search term. "PS3" does have some bold "PlayStation"s, but by-and-large, I don't see what we get by being our own special snowflake with our "don't abbreviate" way of doing things (other than decreased traffic and new people not tagging questions correctly). If it's ambiguous (HotS: Heroes of the Storm or Heart of the Swarm?) there's generally a well-accepted internet abbreviation, and we have the Tag Wikis to make it clear.

So, the best play is to keep the initialed tags. They are searched for up to an order of magnitude more, extremely well accepted, and completely unambiguous.


Departing from the issue somewhat, I do appreciate tags "looking good", but that's another matter. I had a MSO proposal a while back for tag abbreviation expansions, maybe, maaaaybe, that could be extended to how the tags actually "look" on the page...

Full tag expansions

Not sure if that's a good idea.

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    Do we actually have metrics of how changing to the new 'old republic' style tags over [swtor] affected SEO? How many times was the synonym between [swtor]->whatever redirected? – Robotnik Feb 21 '14 at 9:43
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    @Robotnik don't know, but it was largely anecdotal. I do recall searching for 'swtor <a verbatim question I asked>' and not seeing it show up anywhere on the first page of Google results. – Nick T Feb 21 '14 at 16:27
  • @Vaishali sorry, I was a bit vague as to my stance: I think it's best to keep the tags as they are as that's the safest play. – Nick T Feb 21 '14 at 20:45
  • I prefer this myself. I wrote that full name is usually preferable but that's only in terms of lack of ambiguity. In terms of discoverability, the acronym is far more useful - and right now, there's no real concern about ambiguity with the Playstation tags, is there? – Grace Note Feb 21 '14 at 20:57
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    By your logic, the-elder-scrolls-online should be teso – BadSnowflake Apr 28 '14 at 5:20
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    @Assylum if "the-elder-scrolls-online" is over 26 characters, sure. (why are you using inline code formatting for tags, it looks hideous/inappropriate) – Nick T Apr 28 '14 at 6:20

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