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I think we should have more information in the related questions sidebar item. For example, we could have an indication of whether a question has an accepted answer, how many votes it has, and how many answers are present. This helps you pick the best question when identifying a possible duplicate, instead of just reflexively clicking on the first link.

An example of what it could look like (taken from something else I was working on). Looks pretty ugly, but I'm no UI designer:

enter image description here

Links in green are questions with accepted answers (a nicer alternative would be a low contrast green background, or a checkmark), and a number after the title indicates how many answers the question has.

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Having an (accepted) answer does not make the question a duplicate. I have closed a reasonable number of questions (outside /review) which were a duplicate of a question without answer. (I use Google with to find duplicates by the way, because Related and search are often inaccurate). – Rob W Dec 7 '12 at 11:32

But why?

The links are to Related questions. Any of them may have the answer you need, or may give you insight - whether or not they have accepted answers.

The idea is that you read any of them that look like they might have something helpful for you, and not just read one!

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I am not suggesting that the related links bar be replaced with a single link. I am asking for statistics to be provided that help you narrow down your search. Presented with a wall of 20 identical looking links, a user is less likely to expend effort on searching for the best duplicate, not more. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 7 '12 at 0:35
I tend to click on all of them and end up with a row of new tabs to peruse, but that may be just me :-) – Rory Alsop Dec 7 '12 at 0:35
So you're saying for every duplicate close vote you cast you open 25 tabs? My point is that many of those click throughs could be avoided if you already know which alternatives are dead ends (low vote, no answer questions) – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 7 '12 at 0:41
But you can't know that. Any of the related questions may help you. You may not agree - but that is the way I see it. – Rory Alsop Dec 7 '12 at 0:49
I'm not sure I see your argument here. Implementing this isn't going to make those other questions disappear from the list. It is just going to give you a preview of information that you would otherwise have to follow a link to see. – Asad Saeeduddin Dec 7 '12 at 1:13

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