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Stack Exchange's built-in search returns results really really quickly. Are the pages spidered and indexed? Is there some schema optimization in use? I'm just curious.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

They're using the new mind-reading features in .NET 4.0, so the server already knows what you're going to search for (and starts looking) before you even hit the submit button.

But seriously. :)

I believe they're using SQL Server full-text search (is this covered in one of the FAQs?) so yes, everything is "spidered and indexed"...

edit here's a blog post that mentions them in the same sentence... :)

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An enslaved army of highly trained monkeys.

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Don't forget the typewriters –  Joe Schmoe Jul 9 '09 at 18:43
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As opposed to Google which, as everyone knows, uses pigeons, as in the famous Google PigeonRank (TM) system. –  Tom Harris Dec 1 '09 at 3:05

Keep in mind that SO doesn't have to search eleventy-billion or so web pages like Google does. It's more like 350,000 questions. Many databases are much larger than that.

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Mainly because it's not a very good search. It is easy to return bad search results fast.

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Is this "hide behind wiki friday" or "im going to make a comment an answer wednesday"? –  Troggy Oct 23 '09 at 20:40
    
"It is easy to return bad search results fast." :) Funny but not true. –  çağdaş Oct 23 '09 at 20:51
    
hey it's a running gag that SO site search sucks. i'm not the first to point it out. –  Kip Oct 23 '09 at 21:16
    
used to be true, but not any more (see recent changes meta.stackoverflow.com/search). We just hadn't had time to work on it much, and it was low-pri since Google works so well. –  Jeff Atwood Oct 24 '09 at 0:06

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