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Can we have a setting that defaults our searches to Google?

Every time I try to find something in SO, it is a waste of time, the results does not have relevance and often the question I'm looking for does not even show up in the results.

I immediately switch to Google and the top result is often what I was looking for (or in the top 5 results)

Stop fighting with search, embrace the leader.


  • Allow a preference that always use Google
  • Two panes search, one with SO internal search and the other with Google Search
  • Phase out internal search and use it only for Related Questions (that will free some resources involved with search)

Note: I know I can always use Google with site:SO, but I think the problem is for all the users.

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closed as off topic by Jeff Atwood Aug 8 '09 at 21:23

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I like the internal search much more than Google. I can always find what I'm looking for. – Tyler Carter Aug 7 '09 at 16:18
I've always found everything I needed with internal search, and I've never had to resort to google. – Ian Elliott Aug 7 '09 at 16:44
google and our internal search are good at different things (now that I've improved our internal search and added advanced search clauses). I don't view one as a replacement for the other; they complement each other. – Jeff Atwood Aug 17 '09 at 6:54
Jeff: I agree, that is why I propose a dual pane search – Eduardo Molteni Aug 19 '09 at 16:17

Unfortunately, Google cannot offer StackOverflow-specific search features such as tag-specific searches:

  • [tag] apples oranges
  • [tag] [another-tag] apples oranges

... and other Advanced Super Ninja Search Options:

  • posts from a specific user
    - user:1234 apples oranges
  • posts with a minimum number of votes
    - votes:15 apples oranges
  • questions with a minimum number of views
    - views:250 apples oranges
  • questions that have an accepted answer
    - hasaccepted:1 apples oranges
  • answers that are accepted answers
    - isaccepted:1 apples oranges
  • questions that have a minimum number of answers
    - answers:1 apples oranges
  • questions that have been closed
    - closed:1 apples oranges
  • posts that are community wiki
    - wiki:1 apples oranges
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Agreed. I use SO now for some pretty specific searches, but stick with google if I need to just search for possible dupes. – TheTXI Aug 7 '09 at 16:05
That's ok, make an Advanced Search for the ninjas, but do not punish everyone else – Eduardo Molteni Aug 7 '09 at 16:05
How are we punishing you? By making a search that can do stuff Google can't? Oh yeah ... thats real punishment... – Tyler Carter Aug 7 '09 at 16:19

Beyond that, I'd expect most users know how to use the Google Site: operator and it's shown on our search page..

look there under

Search Is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!

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But it doesn't work with [this][1] and you have to go to that page, which is really annoying. Maybe a user preference or a dropdown menu in the searchbox would be really better for everyone. [1]:… – Davide Oct 29 '09 at 21:53
just type in the google search area on your browser, or bookmark the page. – Jeff Atwood Oct 29 '09 at 22:19
All of the links in this answer seem to be broken now. – Brad Koch May 6 '14 at 20:03

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