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Most of the times, I use Google to search in SO rather than using its own search box, as it returns quite better results. I imagine this is a common task for many of the SO users, so why not including this option inside SO? It would avoid users going out and returning back.


How many of you actually use the SO search rather than Google?

At this moment, I use a custom search provider in Chrome:

Right click on the url bar. Set up search providers. Add a new one.

Name: Stackoverflow
Keyword: so

To use it, I just type "so" into the URL bar and hit the TAB key. After that, just type the query and hit ENTER.

This way I'm leaving SO to come back and that MAY not be the best option.

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IMHO, trying to improve SO search is trying to reinvent the wheel... and Google has the best wheel. Both options may be compatible. – Alejandro Colorado Jun 25 '13 at 8:17
There is already custom Google search enabled for the whole network, for example: isn't it enough? – Shadow Wizard Jun 25 '13 at 8:42
If I need to leave SO and search in SE, I'm really having the same issue than going to Google. IMHO, it's not really enough to make the change, as I would continue using Google from my address bar. This feature may invite people not to leave SO so easily. – Alejandro Colorado Jun 25 '13 at 8:48
Actually people are expected to make research before posting, and not just in Stack Overflow itself. So having such search might just do more harm than good in the long run. – Shadow Wizard Jun 25 '13 at 9:06
Note that the SO search has features that Google has not, like searching for [tags]. – Uooo Jun 25 '13 at 9:31
@w4rumy, that's why I talk about having both options. – Alejandro Colorado Jun 25 '13 at 9:34
By "use Google to search in SO", do you mean searching like this: " ....." in Google? – Old Checkmark Jun 25 '13 at 9:40
@doubleDown I updated my question. – Alejandro Colorado Jun 25 '13 at 9:50
As I understand it google search doesn't like < > ! ? = etc etc. For a programming site that might be a little bit of a hinderance – Richard Tingle Jun 25 '13 at 10:34

This isn't really needed; Stack Exchange has hooks for custom searches in your address bar already.

On Chrome, at least, type stackoverflow + tab. There's no need for a Google-branded custom search for SO when we have one working fine already (network-wide). Maybe it's that you know Google's search syntax better than stackoverflow's? Maybe it's just that SE are that damn good at SEO? I don't have anything to back this up.

I think it would probably be more likely that SE would continue to use their own search, from their own database, at least on site-specific searches

share|improve this answer
Indeed, using Chrome's address bar is what I use, but that way I'm leaving SO, and if I were the owner of SO I would prefer people not leaving it to search elsewhere. And yes, SE are damn good at SEO. – Alejandro Colorado Jun 25 '13 at 9:37
@AlejandroColorado what you would do if you would own SO is irrelevant to this question, I think. – Uooo Jun 25 '13 at 10:12
@w4rumy, not if it was a feature requested but most users. Maybe it's not the case, but I would say most users prefer searching in Google. – Alejandro Colorado Jun 25 '13 at 10:17
You actually need to type + Tab, though some of us might just need to type s + Tab since it is already auto-completed. – Alvin Wong Jun 25 '13 at 12:23
@AlvinWong s goes to for me, but st goes to - i merely said stackoverflow because it will generally be tabcompleted to regardless of if it's pointing to something like<id>/<username>, because the search handler is <domain>/?q=Search+Query – Amelia Jun 26 '13 at 0:32

Most of the times, I use Google to search in SO rather than using its own search box, as it returns quite better results. I imagine this is a common task for many of the SO users,

Well, I search in Google because I want a solution for a given problem. When nothing found, I sometimes limit the search to SO to get better results. So there might be users which do that. OK.

so why not including this option inside SO?

How would the site get better by this?

It would avoid users going out and returning back.

Why is that a problem? I don't "go out and return back", I use the internet to find solutions. Using stackoverflow, google, forums, whatever. If google points to stackoverflow after I left SO two minutes ago, this is not "go out and return back".

In addition, I see another problem. I guess to include a custom Google search, you also have to display Google's ads. Also in the "live-search" when asking a new question. I would rather prefer an ad-free stackoverflow, don't you?

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