Suppose we have a new question that needs substantial body edits and some tags. If I do not intend to do the substantial body edits immediately, should I refrain from adding the needed tags?
Nothing is wrong with just editing tags
Maybe you just doesn't have the time and/or energy to go through editing the entire body of the question and so you only edit the tags, which are, for me, a much less taxing edit.
I honestly can't see anything wrong with such an action. The question was already recently active, so the bump won't do anything. The in-line tag edit function exists solely to make such edits easier to perform. And, it in no way prevents other users from actually editing the body of the question into a more acceptable form.
And I'll point out that this applies to both new and old questions. In fact, if you stumble upon an old, open question that is in need of significant body edits, editing the tags and bumping the question is probably a good thing as it will increase visibility.
Now, should you update the tags of old questions that don't need significant body edits just to organize the site better for search functionality and the like? Probably don't do it to a million questions at once and flood the front page, one question edit won't do any harm, but this is also out of scope for the question asked here and we already have other Meta posts discussing more similar situations.
- Is it irresponsible to bump numerous questions by adding tags?
- What are the guidelines for editing many questions in a short period of time?
Perhaps of note, is that such edits do not progress any badges other than the Editor badge. Do with this information what you will.
Note that if the question is closed then there are other reasons why you probably want to edit just the tags (or at least, there are reasons not to edit the body unless you are making significant changes). This is because editing the body will often put the question into the review queue, while editing the tags does not. So in these cases, avoid minor fixes to the body of the question, but tag edits will work just fine. Some questions/answers about this: