Today this happened to me. I was trying to answer a question and provided a link that can help the OP in solving the question. Why did the system converted it to a comment?
How come it identifies one of my answers providing a link as a trivial answer?

Any Guide? That would be very much appreciated.

  • Short answer:- Link only answers are highly discouraged on SO. And hence the result.
    – Rahul
    Oct 24, 2013 at 9:36
  • 1
    The question is reasonable; no reason this should be downvoted Oct 24, 2013 at 9:45
  • 2
    @marc It might be that the username is being downvoted as much as the question.
    – dcaswell
    Oct 24, 2013 at 9:49
  • See also meta.stackexchange.com/q/83912/182868
    – Ral Zarek
    Oct 24, 2013 at 9:55

4 Answers 4


The system tries to detect answers that should rather be a comment and if found converts them to a comment.

Link-only answers are below the quality standard of Stack Overflow. If you don't have anything to add to a link then don't post an answer.

  • Thanks! i just wanted to know how the system works :) Oct 24, 2013 at 9:37

Essentially telling someone to "look over there" is not an answer in itself. The content you're pointing to might answer the question, but your pointer doesn't.

And what's more, if another post really answers the question asked, perhaps the current question can be closed as a duplicate instead.


It could be deleted as a link-only answer instead, but it would be worse, right?

If you can write full-blown answer that would make sense even if the link goes down, please do so! Conversion of the old one does not prevent you from doing it.


Because the link you provided might actually be helpful to solve the problem at hand, but link-only answers are not answers. The least you can do to make it an answer would be extracting the relevant parts of that link into your answer so it will not become meaningless if the link breaks. Care for potential copyright issues if you quote directly!

Preferably, you should explain how to solve the problem yourself, and reference external links where necessary, thus providing further reading material, but not making your answer reliant on them.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .