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Basically, I do not want to post duplicate questions, so I always do a search in the top right hand first, sometimes I learn a lot and spend about 30 minutes+ reading up on similar results that are very interesting, however not the exact question I want.

So, at this point I go to Ask Question and after typing a title, to my shock, the exact question I want answered pops up, despite putting the same terms into search.

Am I alone here, or is there some scope in the future of a sort of "Ask Jeeves" type search where you actually write the question and get the same results as I do in the related questions?

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Just to say, it happened again to me - I am trying to find out on SO best practices from others - ASP.net dev server or IIS, I looked for a while with no luck in search, then I type it in a new question and get very good results that have answered my question! – William Hilsum Oct 21 '09 at 0:51
You are correct, the "ask question" search is much more likely to find the dupe questions/answers you are looking for. IIRC from the podcasts, this query is one of the more expensive ones vs. the default search. Also as GMan points out below, Google will often provide some of the most robust results. – scunliffe Oct 21 '09 at 1:02
I think they should just have a Google search. – Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 18 '09 at 3:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ask searches exclusively by title.

You can do the same thing in search using the intitle:1 advanced search parameter, like so


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Let me introduce you to your new little friend:


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If I remember correctly, Jeff said that the search on the 'Ask Question' page only searches the title, while the upper left search searches the entire post. So the results wind up being different, and sometimes better.

However, that was a while ago, it might have changed.

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