There's been a couple of discussions in the past about whether specific series or movies should get the -tv or -2001 (or whatever year) extensions due to their being a remake or a duplicate title in general. For example Shameless UK vs. US or this very old question about movies with different years.

However, I think it would be best if we could decide upon an 'official guideline' about tag precedence and how it should be decided so we can avoid having the same discussion for every single tag (as I was planning to create for ).

Some possible ideas would be:

  1. The oldest gets precedence

    Godzilla (1954) would get , Godzilla (1998) would get .

  2. The first title to get a question gets precedence

    If people start asking questions about Godzilla (1998) first, then that title gets the original tag, , and the original would have to live with if and when people want to ask questions about it.

I was originally going to suggest the most popular as a third alternative, but I think renaming tags based upon this sort of criteria could get argumentative, confusing and damaging to SEO, which is what the tags really help with.

Does anyone have any opinions as to what the most useful guideline would be to keep the tags consistent?

  • What is "SEO"? And inaddition to the points adressed here it would also be interesting how to proceed with -tv appendages, since for example there is no question here about the Buffy or Teen Wolf movies, yet the tags about the TV shows have those appendages. So a basic question would also be if the mere exitence of another version has any influence on the matter or only the existence of a question on this site. That's a problem which has not been discussed suffienctly officially, yet.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 10:38
  • @NapoleonWilson SEO is search engine optimisation: the tags appear in the headers for the page which are the terms which are most heavily relied upon for matching your search to the page, so the tags indirectly determine how easy it is to find the question on google (or similar). So for the Buffy case, it means it's less likely to turn up in google unless you include "tv" in your search. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 10:45
  • @CrowTRobot SEO (as you knew it a few years ago) effectively no longer exists after, what was it called, the Panda update to the Google search engine? SEO was cheating the system; people were paying thousands of dollars to get high listings, and that's not the way it's supposed to work outside of google's ad system, which at most shows 2 results, and leaves the rest of pages that truly deserve to be listed as the top match. There's effectively no such thing as SEO anymore, other than "having popular content".
    – J.Todd
    Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 21:56
  • More accurately, no one knows how to optimize for the google search engine now, other than to host popular, quality content. The tags don't matter much. The title barely matters. Description isn't even looked at. It's all in the page's content now. ... "the more you know.."
    – J.Todd
    Commented Nov 1, 2014 at 21:58

6 Answers 6


Personally, I think it makes for bad policy to have the tags be inconsistent.

Giving out the tag to the first film version that gets a question is arbitrary and tends to bias towards newer versions of the films. I feel this can end up being confusing... because it confused me when I started looking into this situation.

If we want to say: The older (or newer) version always gets the generic tag, regardless of the popularity of the films, that's at least consistent... I don't particularly like it because (in the case the older gets the generic) there are potentially times when the older version is obscure to the point of being unknown or (in the case of newer getting the generic tag) the older version is a classic that deserves the generic but... at least it's consistent.

I think that, if there are two films (or TV shows) with the same title, they should both (or all) have dates on the tags. This does a few things:

  • Simplifies tagging for non-veteran site visitors... they're unlikely to use the wrong tag if neither tag is generic... and, lets be honest, they probably don't always read the tag wiki to make sure... but the dates make the wiki less necessary.

  • Clarifies exactly which film is being discussed. A film generically tagged could potentially be about any of the films and, if the OP doesn't make it clear in the question, answers can be wrong. This is particularly the case with films or TV shows that haven't been asked about yet and don't have tags, as was the case with the tag. At different points in time (and by different people) it was awarded the and the depending on which film people thought the question was about... despite the generic tag never existing before.

Honestly, I think that all film tags should include dates regardless of if there's multiple versions of the film. Yes, it makes the tags longer but it leaves zero doubt about which film is being discussed. Doing this prevents the tags from getting changed in the future (because apparently this is an issue?) and it also sets the film tags apart from other tags.

In the case of a TV show and film having the same title, I feel like adding a -tv to the show title and the date to the film title is probably the best option. This doesn't happen that often.

And seriously this should be fixed:


Movies/television about the epic work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Usually refers to award-winning trilogy by Peter Jackson.

I'm not sure what television is being referred to in this, as far as I know, there's no television adaptation. There's already a for the animated film... so this should be used only for the 2000s era film series (much like the tag relates to the entire series while there are individual tags for specific films in the series).

And this:

Television series (twice - mid-1970s and mid-2000s) concerning the survival activities of humans against a race of super beings we created and lost control of.

All three questions are about the 2000s era show, so the tag should probably be changed to include the year anyways. If we get questions about the 1970s show, it should have its own tag to avoid confusion.

  • It is really not a bad idea to differentiate movie-specific tags from any other kind of tags. While quite radical, I might even favour the idea of always adding a year tag, if it wasn't for that awfully stupid 25 character limit. We already have problems keeping that limit and reducing it to 20 characters would have a tremendous impact.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 15:59
  • I might at least opt for the approach of rechanging an old tag to have year appendages once an ambiguity arises from a new question, so that no version gets "favoured" by a generic tag. While this requires explicit moderator effort (if one doesn't want to bump all the questions with the old tag), it would probably be a rare occurence.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 16:02
  • @NapoleonWilson I'm surprised that SE doesn't have a way to simply rename tags. Granted, it'd have to be a mod power but it should be a two-second fix. Or is that what you're saying?
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 5:08
  • Uh, it has, and I guess that's exactly what I'm talking about.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 8:41

Every instance where there are questions about different versions of things with the same name, these should be tagged with a year.

Using your Godzilla example:

Godzilla (1954) would get , Godzilla (1998) would get .

Then, the currently popular version has the main as a synonym to it. This is because as it is the currently popular version it is likely that anybody coming here with a question about the subject is talking about this version. In the instance that it turns out they aren't, we can edit the correct tag into the question.

This approach allows easy maintenance of such tags going forwards in the instance that there is another one (cough ) since it's just a case of changing where the synonym points to.

  • 1
    This seems the best approach presented so far (i.e. use year appendages for all versions whenever there are questions about both, not if there only is a second movie existing or even for each movie tags at all). The only thing I don't agree so much with is the synonym part, seems rather useless and cumbersome. When is "currently"? And what is "popular"? It also stops the tag from being used as general franchise tag, as might be useful in the Godzilla example. ...But well, I might even be able to live with that synonym thing. Afterall it's the most reasonable approach presented so far.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 18:06
  • I'm not suggesting that we change the synonym going backwards, however if there were (for example) a major big budget movie called blabla that then had a later small budget remake that never gained traction, we wouldn't necessarily give the "latest" the synonym. Using the synonym method however does allow us to ultimately assign the synonym to whatever we want, so if the situation arose where suddenly we were finding we had a lot of questions about an older movie we could move the synonym to save retagging efforts...
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 19:02

I'm going to weigh in and say #1; Oldest gets precedence. The oldest will always be the oldest, and the idea of re-tagging questions when a remake comes out is less than palatable.

I think it's silly to tag things as a movie, and also we're limited to 25 (or 28?) characters so we should choose to use as few as possible and only use a -tv designation when necessary. So, for the movie and for the 70's TV show works for me, and while seems clunky, I think it's acceptable.

  • So, in your system, what would be done if the first question asked is about a later version of the film?
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 4:05
  • The proper tag would be film-name-xxxx where xxxx is the year of its release. Sometimes you just have to pick a standard and adhere to it. Keep in mind, when you start typing the tag it will autofill, and I don't think anyone would be confused on which tag to use once it starts autofilling. Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 4:17
  • I'm not talking about picking between two tags... what if, for example, two completely unrelated films had the same title... one came out in 1980 and one in 2012. The 1980 film is relatively unknown and no one asks a question about it. The person who creates the tag for the 2012 film isn't aware that there's a 1980 film so they create a tag without a date. By your system, this would be wrong and the tag would have to be changed.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 4:55
  • There's no 100% foolproof way to tag in this environment, and even my way will require some maintenance. But I think it makes the most sense, and we really need to pick one standard and roll with it. At least there's some definitive order to it and it makes sense. Of course, in extremely rare occasions where 2 movies might come out with the same name in the same year, we'll have to figure that out. But I don't know if that's ever even happened. Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 18:57

Surprised no-one else waded in on this one, but I guess its not viewed is a burning problem here.

For what it is worth, I think that most recent should get precedence, even if that requires some retagging if more recent versions are made (and movies are not remade that frequently). I think when people are looking for a movie - they are probably thinking of the most recent incarnation of the name.

There are exceptions to this of course - King Kong is probably clearest to distinguish which of the 3 versions, since the 1930's version is probably the most famous, so this might lend itself to putting the year after all tags.

  • Meh, most recent, not sure. And you exception already shows a problem. When is a movie or its original "famous" enough to warrant a violation of your proposed most-recent policy?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 8:43
  • Re-Tagging later = bad. You never want to build a model based on the idea that, at some point, you're going to need to completely re-do it. Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 19:57
  • @JohnnyBones - i can see that.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 15:46

2. The first title to get a question gets precedence

If people start asking questions about Godzilla (1998) first, then that title gets the original tag, godzilla, and the original would have to live with godzilla-1954 if and when people want to ask questions about it.

After thinking this over for a while, I think 'Popularity' and 'First come first server' are probably the same thing: chances are people will ask about the most popular title first, and I think that version should be the one to get the original tag.


If I might weigh in here, there's some stuff about tagging that you'll find helpful. Meta tags are associated with posts and used by search engines, whether local or global (i.e., Google), to better categorize information. So, if I am going to post a piece about the 2014 version of Godzilla, I would add tags like so:

movie, theatrical, godzilla, 2014

I would NOT create a tag for godzilla-2014 because this doesn't help the search engine. Think about the information in columns on a spread sheet and you want to sort the rows. You have type (movie), you have release (theatrical), you have genre (godzilla), and you have year (2014). As you add more pieces that contain the godzilla tag, but have different year tags, you can sort the entries more atomically. Concatenating tags disallows this kind of sorting.

I hope that helps.

  • That is however not how tagging works here at all (or on any other SE site). A movie tag is useless, since nearly all the site content is about movies anyway. Likewise you don't add a theatrical tag just because the movie was released theatrically. Standalone year tags don't seem to make reasonable sense either. You don't really tag the movie or what the movie is about, but the question and what it's about, and it's not about the year 2014 or the problem of theatrical releases, ok, it is about a movie, but well, so are most of the questions.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 18:20
  • Interesting. I'd be interested to better understand how tagging works in the SE environment, then. You say the movie tag is useless, but there are Movies and TV shows represented here. How does the SE search engine know the difference between Star Trek (TV) and Star Trek (Movie). What about Open Season (theatrical) versus Open Season (direct-to-video). I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm just pointing out what Meta Tags are for since you say that that's "not how it's done here". Meta tags are meta tags. They perform a specific function in organizing ridiculously large amounts of data. Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 18:50
  • for the purpose of searching, tagging both godzilla and 2014 would have a similar effect to tagging godzilla-2014 - the page renderer puts the top tag in the title of the page with hyphens switched for spaces so tagging "godzilla-2014" would result in a page title of "godzilla 2014 - question title" whereas tagging godzilla and 2014 would result in a page title of "2014 - question title", since more questions would be tagged with 2014 than godzilla - additional tags are only really useful once you're on the site and once here, we expect tags to be used as subjects experts can filter by
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 18:53
  • modern search engines are more interested in page content than meta data so it's far more important to ensure that the information appears in the body of the page somewhere than some arbitrary tagging system that appears some way down the page.
    – user5603
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 18:54
  • That's an interesting use of tags. I didn't expect that. Thanks for the update. As for the importance of content, that's not in question. One should never use tags to present core data. It should be the other way around. Tags should reflect the content by indicating to the search engines, local or global, the keywords important to the entry for purposes of searching and sorting. Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 19:16
  • @TylerRegas Like said, the tags are not about the movie in question, but about the question itself. If you're asking about the intricacies of producing and airing TV shows, then add the tv-shows tag, but not if you want to know why Monica in Friends was written to have been obese. And if you want to know something about the general release policy or problems ragarding direct-to-dvd productions, then use that tag, not if you want an explanation for the plot of Transmorphers. For different movies with the same title, use different movie tags, not additional stand-alone tags.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 19:40
  • As to the usage of the tags for search engines, that's someting we just don't care about at all, at least not primarily. The tags are first and foremost used on and with this site only, every external usage is rather marginal for any tagging considerations.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 19:51
  • That's fine, but when I speak of search engines, I'm not only referring to Google and Bing, but also to the search engine that runs behind all StackExchange sites. The latter is the more important search engine, since it's what visitors use to locate salient entries. Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 20:13
  • 1
    @TylerRegas Not really... If you use the search bar on Movies & TV and look for "godzilla" it comes up with every question with that word regardless of whether it's tagged "godzilla" or not.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 6:34
  • Godzilla and Star Trek aren't exactly great examples, so here's one. How would you identify that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest were three titles in a series? You could reference Stieg Larsson or the Millennium Series, but those aren't cinematic references. The typical solution would be to include meta reference tags that cite the two other titles in the series for each entry. As for your "Not really", you are right. Tags are NOT the sole determinant of search terms. Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 6:43

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