I have posted a question on Stack Overflow in which I'm asking users about why Google is so fast that got closed almost immediately.

At the very least, I'd like to know implementation details (such as code) of the specific programming algorithms that make Google so fast because I want to use them as well. I even received an answer from a user who told me the name one such algorithm used for database indexing which I may use.

I wonder if you could tell me:

  1. Stack Overflow's FAQ states that questions related to "a software algorithm" are acceptable to be asked. Is that true or am I missing something?

  2. Are questions also unacceptable? There seem to be users that are asking questions in which they appear to not know if an algorithm exists for their issue or not - they are not specific at all. For what it counts, they may be asking a question related more to mathematics then programing algorithms. I believe that the fact that at least I know that there is a special algorithm that makes Google fast makes my question more relevant for the algorithm tag on SO than those who are asking "if it exists" and are not sure. (Similar to them, I also want to see some code if possible) - I simply want some implementation details regarding algorithms to make my site fast as well.

  3. Would you mind shedding some light on me on what is the meaning behind the following tags on Stack Overflow and how/when to use them: , , , , ?

  4. Why didn't the question at least get moved to one of the other Stack Exchange sites? Isn't there a place for it on Stack Exchange?

  5. There are many similar or identical and even much broader questions on SO which are never closed (please let me know if you cannot find any and I'll try to find at least 10 clear examples of these type of question, all of which will be recently asked).

  6. I know all my questions have been closed but why this one in particular? Is my future doomed on SO under this account? Do I have to open another one (I personally prefer to use this account if possible)?

  7. I found the answer for the question and posted it myself. Is there something wrong with that?

Thanks for all your advice.

PS: Ultimately I would like that this question sees the light of day on Stack Exchange preferably on an IT related site - so if I'm being so wrong that I cannot post it at all here, could you please give a few pointers if its possible for me to paraphrase it somehow so I get posted it here anyway?

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Hi there seems to be a reopen link that became available on the question. Does this mean I can press it now ? Or should first make sure the format/content of it complies with the advises given to me by @Joel Coehoorn, @dmckee and @waiwai933 ? Please let me know, thanks. –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 3:39
    
ok .. i'll press it. Edit: pressed it, but nothing happened:) –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 4:04
    
hi guys, if the question's content is ok as it is, could you help reopen it ? (fixed the formatting btw). thanks –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 4:28
    
hi guys, re-tagged it to include the algorithm tag with. Would mind to support reopening if content is acceptable ? –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 6:51
    
hi guys, last message, renamed it to be in a form of a question and more relevant to software algorithms and design patterns, and also fixed some grammar mistakes. –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 8:02
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3 Answers

Are you currently working on a building a search engine web site? It sounds like not, in which case this is a question about Google rather than a question about a specific programming problem, and thus is off-topic. You might do better at webapps.stackexchange.com.

If you are building a search engine, to ask a strictly on-topic question you need to be able to point to a specific area in your already existing code base that's not performing up to expectation, and then ask for questions on specific ways to improve it.

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no I am not building a search engine but I am building a site with similar data oriented issues as a search engine and I want to use their algorithms. Is this what I need "you need to be able to point to a specific area in your already existing code base that's not performing up to expectation" ? I have such a problem, if include a code snippet it would ok to post it again ? –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 2:42
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I expect that Google's algorithms are highly proprietary. The only people "in the know" would be Google engineers, and I expect their employment would be in jeopardy by revealing the secret Google juice. (Not to mention the lawsuits.) –  Al E. Nov 24 '10 at 14:12
    
"you need to be able to point to a specific area" - Google's services are legion, as are the things they use to make them fast; even if someone knew all of them and was able to share, I suspect it would be several volumes of books, not a SO answer. –  Piskvor Nov 24 '10 at 17:47
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First, let me explain why your question was closed. It focused on Google to the extent that it wasn't really a question about algorithms, but about how Google works instead. A better question might be: "Why algorithms make large websites so fast", or if you were asking on Webmasters, which might a better SE site, "What algorithms can I use to make my website fast", and give Google as an example.

  1. No, that's correct. Questions about algorithms are acceptable.

  2. No, asking if such an algorithm exists is also acceptable.

  3. — How should I design something?
    —How should I implement something?
    — Questions about database, such as MSSQL, MySQL, Oracle
    Wikipedia explains this better than I do
    —Generally, how should I design my tables for this scenario in a database? (assuming a RDBMS)

  4. Questions closed as off-topic can be moved to other Stack Exchange sites if at least 3 of the closers agree. From a technical perspective, that's why it wasn't moved. I can't see the exact close votes so I can't get you any more information.

  5. This isn't a question, so I can't really respond to it.

  6. I addressed the first part of this question above. You're free to continue using your account, unless the system is telling you that it's not accepting any more questions from you. In that case, to be allowed to ask more questions, you need to answer questions and gain upvotes on those answers.

  7. No, that's acceptable and encouraged, even.

Just one more note: We encourage one question per question post. This question (not the question we're talking about, but this one itself) is more along the lines of 3 questions:

  • Why was my question closed? (and 1, 2, 4, 6 which were subquestions)
  • What do these tags mean? (#3)
  • Can I answer my own question? (#7) (Duplicate)

In the future, please try posting these separately.

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Thanks for the reply. I will try to post separately next time. –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 3:04
    
Ultimately I would love if this question gets on SO, but I can post it on Webmasters too no problem. SO is my top preference thought (if possible of course). So what do you think is the chance that if I try reword it so its not so Google-centric and I add a code problem that led me to post it as suggested by @Joel Coehoorn, the question would be safe ? Could there be any way that I can submit it for a review of someone of the moderators so that I don't end up with another closed question ? –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 3:13
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Not to answer your question but...

I nearly voted to close that myself as a duplicate of RE: How can Google be so fast? Is there a VERY important detail missing on the web about this? (proof positive: look at the OP's comment from 2010-11-23 approx 23:00:

@Bill I posted it again here stackoverflow.com/questions/4261917/… & I tried to my best to write it better, hopefully it's ok. Ivo

) I didn't actually cast that vote because I don't feel like making these things seem personal.

As an aside, I appreciate that you've reduced the use of bold and capitalization, but you are still trying to emphasize vast stretches of test. Unfortunately, when everything is emphasized, nothing stands out. Plus, it still looks like you are shouting at us.

You are obviously neither stupid nor hopelessly anti-social; you can find a place in this community, but you have to play by the local rules.

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thanks for your reply. Actually I put the italic font so that it looks like disclaimer on the label, I swear I meant not to shout at all. Actually the concept of 'online' shouting is very new to me:) I didn't know that boldness is used for anything but highlighting important point but now that I know I will remove the italic from the font. Thanks for commenting again. –  ivo s Nov 24 '10 at 3:18
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