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Question that were closed, had no answer, flawed or were simply bad questions should not show up in search query, esp at top. This will great increase the hits on the good ones thus increasing productivity.

Repro: Search

select query no output

in stackoverflow and the first result you get is close question with no answer and there is nothing useful in the question itself.

http://stackoverflow.com/search?q=select+query+no+output

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I disagree totally. You should be able to find what you're searching for by default, there shouldn't be flags to enable full search instead of flags to limit search.

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I'm going to this because we don't want to auto-filter results in search, it's unintuitive behavior that doesn't really address the problem here.

The problem isn't that there's a really bad question at the top of your search results. The problem is there's a really bad question, which should have been (and was) deleted.

Now, with the same search, you see relevant results without the clutter.

We should't be avoiding really bad content and spending effort in code to filter it from search, we should be cleaning the content up. Always address the problem, not the symptoms, whenever possible.

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If we talk in terms of google, the content should not appear just because the keyword is there (wow what a hit). The content should be there at the top only if it reaches certain standards. This question was asked by a person who had 1 point, was not even registered, did not explain his question, there was no answer and the question itself was not a question by itself, it should not come up at the top. Removing it is the right thing to do but search needs to be a little bit intelligent to make thing really productive. –  Dave Oct 13 '11 at 17:17
    
@Dave - As do (slightly) promote positively voted posts and (slightly) demote negatively voted posts...but in this case that post was still a stronger match. If you want to exclude zero-voted posts, you can do so with a votes:1 operator, etc...we offer several options to refine your search if you don't like the default relevancy based results (like google does...) –  Nick Craver Oct 13 '11 at 23:01
    
this is broader topic. I by no means want to change the way things work at Stack. This was just one test case btw, there are thousands like that. Another scenrio is like this. I search for a question, I get a result. In the result, I see that this question that came on top was marked as dup of another question. It is interesting that the original question do not show but the dup does! The search is just inane, no intelligence at all. The original question which should have got credit in the first place did not get credit but its dope did! –  Dave Oct 14 '11 at 12:41
    
I am pointing these things because stackO is otherwise stunning in all features except the search engine which is weak, if I can put it in that way. –  Dave Oct 14 '11 at 12:46

You can already to that yourself:

select query no output votes:0

will only list question with votes >= 0.

select query no ouput votes:+5

will only list questions with votes >= +5.

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Sure, but it should be the default for standard searches (adding to criteria that question is closed without answer) –  CharlesB Oct 13 '11 at 13:56
1  
There should be flag which marks a question as bad for search results. Moderators can do it easily. Extra switches should not be required to get some sane results. –  Dave Oct 13 '11 at 14:48
4  
@Dave - There are 2 million questions on SO, how many moderators do you think we have? :) –  Nick Craver Oct 13 '11 at 15:08
    
I mean there should be a mechanism to stop bringing up bad questions to top. It should be totally voluntary, not imposed at all. I would even consider deleting these questions. –  Dave Oct 13 '11 at 15:28

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