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Currently, when a user comes across a duplicate, they can follow the link to the original question and its answers. But if they find the original question first, they can't see any of the questions that are marked as its duplicates.

But questions marked as duplicates still have some good/valuable answers.

Maybe it would be a good idea to automatically add in backlinks to the duplicate questions in the main question?

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marked as duplicate by hims056, Toon Krijthe, Lance Roberts, Martijn Pieters, Bo Persson Apr 5 '13 at 9:13

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I disagree. Duplicates can be pruned by the community and moderators when we find them, or they are of very bad quality and end up being deleted. If there is a duplicate with significant value you can flag it for moderator attention, and we can merge the questions together, creating one single canonical source.

If the above happens it will require someone to go and edit all the back-links out and also can send someone down a long trail of reading all these duplicates when the first question actually provided a sufficient answer, taking away the focus on the original question and the value it has added.

This way we keep the question clean and updated, ensuring the best possible experience from our home page, Google.

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1  
Merging is a good thing, but I do not like the deletion part for these reasons: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/230/… –  Ladybug Killer Sep 8 '09 at 8:00
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@John - It highly depends on the quality of the duplicate, and it is rare but does happen. I rarely delete duplicates, but will delete subjective question after a few days giving the OP's a chance to rebute or fix the questions. –  Diago Sep 8 '09 at 8:03
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I disagree, this is implying you'll get them all, also, what's the harm in having the backlink while you get to it? –  John the Seagull Sep 8 '09 at 8:10
    
That sounds better :) But then why do you state "we often tend to prune"? Sounds a little bit contradictory to me... –  Ladybug Killer Sep 8 '09 at 8:12
    
@Vinko - Because someone then needs to go and clean up the backlinks? –  Diago Sep 8 '09 at 8:25
    
@John - Cleaned up my answer based on the comments. –  Diago Sep 8 '09 at 8:27
    
@Diago If you are going to read the old question anyway to merge, what's the problem? Maybe the problem is that I'm not familiar with the merging process... –  John the Seagull Sep 8 '09 at 8:41
    
The merge is a mod tool. We provide the master question id and the secondary id and hit merge. Simple and easy. It basically only shows the title of the questions. –  Diago Sep 8 '09 at 8:43
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Never heard about merge tool and I never seen such merge. Is there some mark on such questions? I hope duplicate questions really will have been merged. –  Kirill V. Lyadvinsky Sep 9 '09 at 8:24
    
@jia3ep - The only indications of a merge for is the the orignal question is removed and all the answer are added to the new question. Also apart from the moderators indicating via a comment a merge has taken place when it's done there is no other indication. This tool is only available to Diamond Moderators –  Diago Sep 9 '09 at 9:33
    
+1, I always think merging's the way to go. –  7777 Sep 18 '09 at 0:20

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