Similar to , which we just got rid of, there are also:

Neither of these are really specific. They don't add meaning to the questions.

Sometimes, refers to , which makes sense to me, but what should we do about the rest? Should we clean up both of these, or do you see any reason for keeping them?

  • 3
    I see no particular reason to keep them around, personally.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 16:04
  • 1
    To cite @slhck: What if people want to follow those tags, because they're experts on... alerts and warnings? :p
    – TFM
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 19:27
  • I am wondering if alert, warning and notification can be used as aliases? Otherwise, alert would be my choice, I find it much broader in scope than the other two.
    – Abhinav
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:16
  • 1
    What if folks are trying to find information with Google by using additional keywords "warning" or "alert" and their only occurence is in the tag? Wouldn't it be bad to remove them from the questions? Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 1:57
  • @ChrisW.Rea Can you show an example of a question that one couldn't find if it wasn't for a "warning" tag? I'd assume most of these questions include the word "warning" or "alert" in some way in the plain text, and I'm pretty sure Google synonymizes them or gives those related words higher weight.
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 7:39
  • I've no evidence, which is also reflective of the problem. We're removing post metadata without any tools to measure the impact of said change. While human editors may believe such tags don't add meaning to a post, we're making an assumption that what human editors do is OK for (or at least not harmful to) search engines (OK, Google) and its users (being the major source of traffic). It's an assumption, only. Such action may be harmful to search traffic. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 13:58
  • @ChrisW.Rea I can see what you mean. I guess the primary reason for removing these tags is that they're not useful for us as a site. Whether that affects search traffic, I honestly don't know. Maybe it would be good to raise this discussion in a separate question or even on Meta Stack Exchange?
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 14:00
  • @slhck Planning to ask there, yes. I've been yearning for more detailed analytics in the mod tools (over at money) and seeing this question here at SU meta made me think about it again, as an example of where it might be useful to, say, have access on a per question basis to the top keywords that resulted in the page being viewed. Maybe even tie the data back to specific versions/edits made to the page. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 14:04
  • Why does the notification tag make sense. As with the other kinds of messages, nobody's an expert on them as messages, only on the issues they message about. Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 4:40
  • warning is empty now... Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 13:55

3 Answers 3


My first two thoughts when reading this title were "What the heck does that mean?" and "Why would we ever need those two words?"



I'd like to quote the other question:

The error message still appears in a certain program, so it should be sufficient to tag it with that. Think about it: Would anybody ever follow error-message, because they're an expert in… error messages?

I personally don't know any expert in alerts or warnings, so I assume the same arguments are valid in this discussion.


You would differentiate between the two if there are different severities for the error/warning/alert/info. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa937483%28v=sql.80%29.aspx?ppud=4 has a gazillion levels, which can be useful to a user who wants to filter out severities below a given level. You would lower the severity threshold when you want to get every last warning out; raise the threshold if you have to get something out quickly and don't have time to sweat the details.

  • I agree there are differences in a programming context, but we don't really treat programming questions here on Super User, and nobody used the tags to designate that.
    – slhck
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 9:51

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