It is true that the Ask-a-Question does bring more relevant entries. However, this is not necessarily helpful if you are looking for a particular question. There are times you want an exact match, and other times you want something similar to what you are asking.
The danger of removing the search engine which looks for exact matches is not just that some questions end up brought up most often, but that others are completely ignored. A good example is searching for a product on Amazon vs. on eBay. When you are looking for something on eBay, you always get an exact match, and you can form a meaningful "followed search", such as
violin "strings" stock -book -super -elements
Querying the same search phrase on Amazon brings up the following list of items:
Thomastik Peter Infeld 4/4 Violin Strings Set with Platinum E
Dr Thomastik-Infeld 130 Dominant Violin String, Single E String, 130, 4/4 Size, Aluminum Wound, Ball End
Thomastik-Infeld 135BMS Dominant Violin Strings, Complete Set, 135Bms, 4/4 Size, Chrome Steel Loop End E String
Thomastik-Infeld VI100 Vision Violin Strings, Complete Set, 4/4 Size
D'Addario NYXL1046 Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings, Light
Jascha Heifetz plays Great Violin Concertos
3dRose Greeting Cards, Bass and Cello, 6 x 6 Inches, String Instruments Violin (gc_200920_1)
Thomastik-Infeld VI100.34 Vision Violin Strings, Complete Set, 3/4 Size
Roth Waller No.5 Wooden Violin Chin Rest New/Old Stock
Thomastik-Infeld VIT100 Vision Titanium Solo Violin Strings, Complete Set, 4/4 Size, Synthetic Core
So none of the first 10 items match the search phrase as stated. And this is sorted by relevance; sorting by anything else yields much worse matches near the top, such as
Interieur Aux Instruments De Musique - Graphique de France Raoul Dufy Birthday Card
While this is more an issue when searching for a purchase, the same Amazon-like approximate searching algorithm has been implemented on YouTube. When typing in the query
Jack Rissa giggle, I get the following videos (descriptions in brackets):
Once were warriors - rissa in bar [Rissa nel bar all'inizio del film, dove viene "introdotto" il presonaggio di Jake La Furia]
WHAT DID I JUST WITNESS? | Inside - Part 3 (END) [I have SO many questions about the ending to INSIDE! I'm sad it's over so soon! Limbo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Dcg... Twitter : https://twitter.com/Jack_Septic_Eye... Outro animation created by Cranbersher: ... Outro Song created by "Teknoaxe". It's called "I'm everywhere" and you can listen to it here]
The Giggling Nanny | SERIAL KILLER FILES #23 [This is not the kind of nanny you'd want watching your kids... \\ CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE ... ADD ME ON SNAPCHAT: robdyke]
Jack Reacher Bar Fight Scene (Complete)
CAN'T STOP LAUGHING!! | Google Feud [I got extra giggly during Google Feud to the point where I was laughing at the stupidest things... Subscribe Today! ... ...a pet named steve...]
SO MUCH NOSTALGIA! | Spyro 3 Year Of The Dragon - Part 1 [Get ready for a blast from the past! Let the nostalgia fly, I'm gonna play Spyro 3! Uncharted 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UAax... Twitter : https://twitter.com/Jack_Septic_Eye... ]
That Dragon, Cancer [That Dragon, Cancer is a powerful game that tells the true story of Joel. I've been wanting to play this for a while but I had to be in the right mindset to do so because of my dad's battle with cancer. This was a very hard video for me to make so thank you for taking the time to watch. Crisis Text Line ...]
- None of the videos have more than one of the three keywords in the title plus description.
- Already the second video has none of the keywords from the search phrase, just a partial match.
- The 7th video (and many subsequent ones) has no words even related to my search phrase, but is based chiefly (if not solely) on my video history.
In fact, there is a video whose title consists of only 4 words, which include these three. Even including the exact title and/or description, with or without quotes, does not find that video: only its video URL. Watching that video seems to bump it to the results list for a while, and then it goes away again.
With so many more website searches going to "This is what your history is, here is what we suggest"-- I definitely respect StackExchange for leaving a standard search engine which can be used to find exact phrases. That being said, I also agree with @WendiKidd and others: I myself often find myself using the Ask-a-Question button to find the answer to what I am looking for. But then again, very often, especially on Math.SE, I really appreciate the ability to type in a complicated math formula I need resolved, and find it on Math.SE, even before the Google bot gets to it. To me, it's more a question of, is the default behaviour of the search box to look for exact phrases, or to look for approximations.