What are the differences between these tags?

  • :

    The process of recording where particular words occur. In the web context search engines crawl the web and make a list of which pages have particular words - this is the index.

  • :

    All web resources crawled by Google bots and recorded in Google databases.

In my opinion, they are all the same, and we should merge them. I propose to put it as .

What do you think?

  • 2
    Although google-index technically distinctly refers to Google's index I think 99.99% of the time, or more, it can be replaced with a combination of this tag and the google tag. But at the very least I agree the first two tags should be combined and made a synonym of search-engine-indexing.
    – John Conde Mod
    Sep 18, 2019 at 18:11
  • what is the difference between google-index and Google's index? I google both and they are just the same
    – Ooker
    Sep 19, 2019 at 4:17
  • search-engine-indexing applies to any search engine, google-index is specific to Google. If someone is asking a question specific to Google this would make sense to use. But as I said above, I can see using google with search-engine-indexing to achieve the same effect.
    – John Conde Mod
    Sep 19, 2019 at 11:36
  • oh sorry I didn't see the word "refers" in "google-index technically distinctly refers to Google's index", so I thought there was another term in webmaster that also in the form "Google's index", and one should be careful in using it
    – Ooker
    Sep 19, 2019 at 11:56
  • 2
    I primarily agree with John, which I usually do 99.99% of the time, or more, but with a slight variation on this 0.01% deviation :-)
    – dan Mod
    Sep 20, 2019 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


I can see why these tags appear similar and should be merged, but there are some dissimilarities in the context of a Webmaster:

  • index can be used when referring to a file (such as the default index file of a web site or web server). There are a few questions which have used this tag in that context. For example, this and this one.
  • indexing could reference other topics, such as indexing a database, but in the context of this site's focus (i.e., for Webmasters, not Database Administrators), the tag's Info seems to be fairly descriptive. It could however be even more descriptive to create a tag called search-engine-indexing as you suggested, and make indexing a synonym of that as John had suggested.
  • Whereas search-engine-indexing would apply to all search engines, google-index is specific to just Google. Information that applies to Google might not apply to the other search engines. For that reason, it should probably have its own tag, while search-engine-indexing could be used to reference this in general.

So to recap, we should create a tag for search-engine-indexing and make indexing a synonym of that, but leave google-index as it is so users will know that the question is specific to only Google.


Thanks to Stephen's hard work, the indexing tag was merged with a newly created search-engine-indexing tag. All of the questions using the index tag were either re-tagged with search-engine-indexing or a newly created, more descriptive directory-index tag. The index tag should therefore automatically be removed from the site by the system in a day's time since it's no longer being used.

+1 to the community for making the site just a little bit better!

  • You don't mention it in your recap, but I think you want leave index alone as well? Maybe it would be better to create directory-index to differentiate uses of index between search engine indexes and directory indexes. It could be a lot of work to go through and re-tag all the questions though. Sep 20, 2019 at 9:21
  • @StephenOstermiller Indeed, I had incoming notifications and got distracted... If we wanted to be thorough about it, we could go through the questions marked with index that are really about "search engine indexing" and edit those to be tagged with a newly created search-engine-indexing tag instead (as covered above). Then we could create the more specific directory-index tag you suggested and edit the remaining questions tagged with index to use that tag instead. The index tag would then no longer be used by any questions and removed in a day.
    – dan Mod
    Sep 20, 2019 at 9:36
  • If you follow that, and feel inclined, go for it :-) Otherwise I'll get to it in a day or so.
    – dan Mod
    Sep 20, 2019 at 9:38
  • 3
    I merged indexing to search-engine-indexing. I also went through all the questions tagged index and re-tagged them as either directory-index or search-engine-indexing. I also created the tag wiki for directory-index. Sep 20, 2019 at 19:03
  • @StephenOstermiller Great - thanks for the heavy lifting!
    – dan Mod
    Sep 20, 2019 at 23:33
  • @StephenOstermiller and dan: I was thinking about creating file-index and database-index. Maybe file-index should be a synonym of directory-index as well?
    – Ooker
    Sep 21, 2019 at 9:37
  • I don't think we'll get questions about database indexes here. That would be a better tag for the database site. Sep 21, 2019 at 11:01

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