+1 @Doug_Agee and @rhogroupee
I think there are a couple things here:
- You can change just the title, without it affecting how someone’s question appears in the site or on the page (although it does give more of a chance of a bounce.)
- Kinda bull, but I think it depends a lot on what kind of community. If you’re a Q&A site, then plenty of the normal edits/requests you’d make, to add clarity, clean up grammer and that sort of thing, will help without being SEO focused and would strike me as immediately acceptable if not mandatory.
Even if you’re not I think the clarity one is particularly big, often you’re not re-wording for Google but for clarity. Even when you’re just changing for higher search volume, you’re not just changing for Google, you’re changing for people on your own site search too, odds are they’re also using the same language on your site as they are in Google.
It’s also where you can run into problems though, I think the line (for me at least) is where you re-word someone’s question and subtly change the meaning.
I think a solid flow would be:
- Does the post need basic grammer/ clarity edits? - Yes
- Make it and notify with that
- Could the question be re-worded for greater search volume (perhaps synonyms etc.) - Yes
- Can you reword it without changing meaning? - Yes
- Re-word and notify with (changed for visibility/searching)
Then with each notification link to a place that explains the choice. +1 @Margaret_Bost , I think on most large communities you probably don’t have the time for individual hand-holding that you do on the small ones. (although you guys probably know that better than me.)