If I search for:[javascript] +function I get 563,442 results

but if I search only for [javascript] I get 420,872 questions tagged.

Is there an implicit or instead of and when you search for tags?

  • 5
    The first search is including answers. The second is not, it has questions only. Aug 13, 2013 at 15:00
  • 1
    @Cody is right, to get only question tagged javascript and having the word "function" in them, have this: stackoverflow.com/… (note I've also wrapped with quotes) Aug 13, 2013 at 15:01
  • @Sha Wiz Dow Ard: Nice answer, but where are the docs on searching?
    – f p
    Aug 14, 2013 at 13:31
  • 1
    @fp sorry forgot to reply! When searching, there is "Advanced Search Tips" link that is expanded to a box with most options, including the "is:question". Even more details are available here. Aug 14, 2013 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Boolean AND is the default operator when searching multiple terms. The plus sign in your search is unnecessary and possibly confusing the issue, but that isn't the real problem.

When you search for a tag, the only thing returned will be questions that have that tag. When you search for a tag plus some other term, you will be given results not only for questions that contain that tag and term combination, but answers as well. In spite of the larger result number, the total number of question/answer combinations represented is much lower. The difference is that some question/answer pairs are represented multiple times, once for the question and once for each answer that contains that term.

In order to do equivalent search, you can limit the results to questions:

[javascript] function is:question

You ill notice this returns something in the order of 220k results instead of 560k.

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