I think this answer by Jeff Atwood supports your case very clearly. I say go for it.
which way will users search for this term on the broader Internet?
The most important factor by far. For example, I'm about to rename a
bunch of tags on Server Fault which are in the form
I do not believe anyone types "windowsserver2008" into Google (or
Bing, or whatever). I believe they type
Windows Server 2008
Which means the appropriate tag is
.. because dashes are treated as word breaks in every known search
engine (and regular expressions, since forever). This is critical to
get right because it means people will be able to find what they're
which form is more popular?
In the case where the search argument cannot be made -- for abstract
terms, or technical terms that tend to be a "lump" without word breaks
-- I tend to argue "survival of the fittest". Whichever tag has more questions associated, whichever tag is used by more people, should
The Help Center also has guidance on how to format tags:
Spaces are not allowed in tags – create compound tags using hyphens rather than spaces (like
[visual-studio]) rather than multiple tags separated by spaces (
How to format tags
- Use all lower case
- Replace spaces with hyphens (-) to combine multiple words into a single word (e.g., tag "unit testing" as
- Avoid punctuation (which can make it difficult to use the tag in a URL) When naming a tag, think about how someone would search for that subject. In most cases this means typing out the full name, but you may also want to use the abbreviation. For example,
[css] is probably more appropriate than
There is also guidance on re-tagging:
As part of the editing process, users may suggest edits or directly edit the tags of a question if they feel a certain tag was used inappropriately or that the question is missing a tag.
You should re-tag questions when:
- You are adding valuable information to the question by doing so
- You are replacing obscure or difficult to understand tags with well-known and popular tags that are appropriate for the question.
Based on the above I think for example retagging windowsserver2008 to the more well-known and popular tag windows-server-2008 is perfectly appropriate. However, if it can be done by a moderator creating a synonym rather than manually editing each question's tags that would obviously be preferred.