I really can't imaging nobody has asked this but since I wasn't able to find anything I bring it up.

Would I be appropriate to rename Questions to improve search results?

For example:

Coloring Example

This questions title is not helpful at all. Renaming it to something like this:

Colorize Theorem Label

Could provide much more informations while searching for something like this.


3 Answers 3


Some suggestion:

  • If it's a new question ask the O.P. in a comment to find a better title
  • If the question has aged, but the O.P. is still active → ask too
  • If the question is basically abandoned, just edit the title such that fits the content/request

I've done so multiple times and in case of no reaction by the O.P. I changed the title after some grace period, so I would say, this kind of editing is alright if it improves the question, especially for searching issues.

... a suggestion, nothing more.


I'm guided by the following ideas:

  1. Titles are used by the community as the main gauge for suitability. This is similar in the nature with which we review search results when performing a regular search engine query. Most (if not all) of your search selection rests on the title. As Jon Skeet mentions in his blog entry: "When a reader first sees your question, they’re likely to be scrolling down a list of snippets. The most eye-catching part of the snippet will be the title – so use that text wisely."

  2. The Stack Exchange network accommodates for this type of community behaviour. If something you changes doesn't suit the needs, it can be rolled back or re-edited.

I'm in favour of adapting post titles to something more suitable for searching.

Meta.SE reference: How to ask a smart question


I agree with the others about respecting the original meaning, although you don't need to ask the original author. You can tell them if you want, but you don't have to.

So feel free to do it, but remember that editing bumps the question, so don't edit like 20 in a row, because those are going to be bumped all together to the front page.

  • 2
    Making edits to bump the questions is a way how some get a bunch of revival or even Necromancer badges :-P
    – user31729
    Jan 4, 2016 at 17:51
  • 1
    @ChristianHupfer Don't encourage them! :P
    – Alenanno
    Jan 4, 2016 at 17:55
  • 2
    so if you're going to edit a title, try to do it while the question is relatively new. (correcting spelling is harmless; changing wording radically usually warrants a comment requesting corroboration from the op.) Jan 4, 2016 at 20:39

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