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I have recently started using a new device and I am discovering

  • Just how immensely helpful the various browser caches are on my earlier device for locating duplicates
  • just how erm, poor the Closing->Duplicate search facility is.

For example On Server Fault we have a close target for licensing questions, it's title is 'Can You help me with my software licensing issue?', there are lots of questions closed as a duplicate of it.

enter image description here

When I enter the full title of the question into the search box it appears 13th on the list. Most of the other questions presented as possible duplicates are in fact already closed duplicates of the one I want to find. This is really not helpful.

It seems to me that improving the sorting such that

would be very helpful.

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This question has an open bounty worth +200 reputation from Matthew Read ending in 6 days.

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.

Point two is a duplicate of Boost duplicate post search results by incoming link count – Martijn Pieters May 27 '14 at 10:30
Cheers Martijn - I did go looking for dupes but erm, yeah search is :( – Iain May 27 '14 at 10:37
My search skills also failed me on this one, didn't find @Martijn request. – Shadow Wizard May 27 '14 at 11:01
Lets face it search is less than useful even when you know what you're looking for. Improving search all round would be useful and possibly enable other ways for getting OPs to information without them having to ask a (generally poor) question. – Iain May 27 '14 at 11:05
I find most duplicates in the 'related links" section of the question page. That's not ideal. – Monica Cellio Nov 30 '15 at 16:24

This is critically important.

I suggest it's also related to the reason that over on serverfault, we're always flooded with users asking the exact same 5-10 questions about how to use iptables, make mod_rewrite rules, how to set up nginx, how to set up ZFS, why their DNS changes aren't instant, how to route traffic through a VPN, and how to send email marketing messages.

It's also the reason we have such trouble properly closing those as dupes.

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Most popular duplicate close targets have a vote score and/or view count significantly above average.

So it would in my opinion already be a great improvement if we simply had a button to sort the search results by their vote score and by their view count additionally to the (currently still suboptimal) relevance order.

I think adding such sort buttons as we have them on the main question sites would already improve the search dialog's quality without generating too much development effort.

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