I've tried to use /search? a few times, and I didn't get the results I was looking for.

For instance, the search for get file creation date java returns what could be considered a canonical question with a good answer (14K views), Determine file creation date in Java, in 6th place.

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I personally find it quite more convenient to use google instead. /search is, by default, mixed with other related questions and answers (I know about is:question, and I think it should be the default). Almost always there's a relevant SO question on the first positions.

Is it me misusing the search engine, or is someone else getting the impression something is not quite right with it? It doesn't seem to rank according to views, votes or duplicates linking to it.


I asked this after seeing a question on SO ask for this very same subject. Don't know if it's related to the engine /search? uses, but when asking a new question with these words, that question in particular doesn't even appear. This could be possibly letting obvious duplicates get asked (it's also true that if the asker didn't bother to google his question, he is also unlikely to be bothered looking for it in a list with Questions that may already have your answer).

2 Answers 2


Looks like it's fixed now. Your query gives me the question you speak of at first place.

Don't forget that this search system is new, and is still under tweaking. Continue report such incidents should you find any.

  • That's nice :) I'll start using /search again. It'd be really great to be able to search for things in SO from within SO. Now I usually find myself opening a new google tab from SO just to search for quality information on SO :) Mar 9, 2013 at 23:13
  • @XaviLópez: Trust me, I know Mar 9, 2013 at 23:16

Stack Exchange has its own built in search mechanism for each site; good or bad I can't really say but it's working and it went through a major face-lift recently.

If you are not satisfied with it and want to use Google search it's already possible from within the main Stack Exchange site: https://stackexchange.com/search (using Google Custom Search)

Searching the same string in that custom Google Search indeed brings your preferred question as first result.

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