Putting "metatags" in your post to help searchers.

I’m trying to find threads about the awesome game “Ico.” I’ve tried searching for words which are longer than three letters, but are also relevant to the game. I’ve found nothing, but it gave me an idea. Don’t know if it’s been proposed before:

If you have a thread about some topic which has three or fewer characters (Ico for instance), would it be frowned upon to put a little string in your post like


so your topic won’t fall under the four-character limit.
Besides the obvious problems of getting everyone to use the same string, having the foresight to put it in your post when you first make it, and whether this trickery is actually worthwhile or just neat, this isn’t a loophole for abuse, is it?

Not a bad idea, but I suspect it would be nearly impossible to get the practice widely adopted. Another approach might be to add, with a post, some searchable term (perhaps what you’ve proposed) to any thread you see that you think might later be of interest, whether you’re the OP or not.

A search on www.boardreader.com for “straightdope ico” turned up a number of threads, such as http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=155285

Be aware that BoardReader doesn’t check the SDMB every day, so very recent threads won’t show up.

I think your question needs an official answer, rather than speculation by people like me. There is no real technical problem with adding one extra word to a post - I mean, hell, look at all the gratuitous words like “felch” “fuck” and who knows what else that people use. I’ve thought before of putting a keyword in some of my energy posts, because they seem to be damn hard to search for later on - but somehow, it’s just seemed…wrong?

However, having a unique keyword does make the Search process go much, much faster. If you make the keyword the first (or only) search term, you might speed up searches by an enormous amount. Impromptu testing on my Board (73,000 posts) seems to show that including a unique keyword in a search for a popular topic speeds up searches by (very roughly) about 20 times.

That having been said, there are very important stylistic and operational reasons why a Board may not want people to start putting meta-words in their posts, and I don’t think anyone should do it here without official sanction.