Can we have a setting that defaults our searches to Google?

Every time I try to find something in SO, it is a waste of time, the results does not have relevance and often the question I'm looking for does not even show up in the results.

I immediately switch to Google and the top result is often what I was looking for (or in the top 5 results)

Stop fighting with search, embrace the leader.


  • Allow a preference that always use Google
  • Two panes search, one with SO internal search and the other with Google Search
  • Phase out internal search and use it only for Related Questions (that will free some resources involved with search)

Note: I know I can always use Google with site:SO, but I think the problem is for all the users.

  • 3
    I like the internal search much more than Google. I can always find what I'm looking for. Aug 7, 2009 at 16:18
  • I've always found everything I needed with internal search, and I've never had to resort to google. Aug 7, 2009 at 16:44
  • google and our internal search are good at different things (now that I've improved our internal search and added advanced search clauses). I don't view one as a replacement for the other; they complement each other. Aug 17, 2009 at 6:54
  • Jeff: I agree, that is why I propose a dual pane search Aug 19, 2009 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, Google cannot offer StackOverflow-specific search features such as tag-specific searches:

  • [tag] apples oranges
  • [tag] [another-tag] apples oranges

... and other Advanced Super Ninja Search options:

  • posts from a specific user
    user:1234 apples oranges
  • posts with a minimum number of votes
    votes:15 apples oranges
  • questions with a minimum number of views
    views:250 apples oranges
  • questions with an accepted answer
    hasaccepted:1 apples oranges
  • accepted answers
    isaccepted:1 apples oranges
  • questions with a minimum number of answers
    answers:1 apples oranges
  • closed questions
    closed:1 apples oranges
  • community wiki posts
    wiki:1 apples oranges
  • 1
    Agreed. I use SO now for some pretty specific searches, but stick with google if I need to just search for possible dupes.
    – TheTXI
    Aug 7, 2009 at 16:05
  • That's ok, make an Advanced Search for the ninjas, but do not punish everyone else Aug 7, 2009 at 16:05
  • 1
    How are we punishing you? By making a search that can do stuff Google can't? Oh yeah ... thats real punishment... Aug 7, 2009 at 16:19

Beyond that, I'd expect most users know how to use the Google Site: operator and it's shown on our search page..


look there under

Search Is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!

  • But it doesn't work with [this][1] and you have to go to that page, which is really annoying. Maybe a user preference or a dropdown menu in the searchbox would be really better for everyone. [1]: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/27809/…
    – Davide
    Oct 29, 2009 at 21:53
  • just type site:stackoverflow.com in the google search area on your browser, or bookmark the page. Oct 29, 2009 at 22:19
  • All of the links in this answer seem to be broken now.
    – Brad Koch
    May 6, 2014 at 20:03

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