I was reading through some meta posts today and I stumbled upon Should we downvote answers to obvious duplicate questions? just now,

After reading this, it started to make me think about the times I have answered duplicate questions. I can see where he is coming from, and I am rethinking whether I should answer those or refer them to previous questions. Then it hit me, what if my answer is a better or more current way of doing something?

Should I then post my answer on the already answered question from two years ago, or on the duplicate question?

This is the question I recently answered that made me start to think about what would be the best option for the person answering a question.

Question I answered with a better more flexible answer

Previously asked question

So what does everyone think about this? Which way should the person answering a question, like me, take in this type of situation?

  • 1
    If you think the existing answers are lacking then adding your own is always a good thing to do, irrespective of the questions age Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 21:25
  • Sorry for duplicating this, and thank you for the other questions I can read up on. Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 21:48
  • That's exactly the point of wiki-style answer editing. So that duplicate questions don't have to be created for answers to stay up-to-date.
    – paulkon
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 21:49
  • also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/198041/… Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Answer it on the canonical question, not the duplicate question.

That question has been around for a lot longer, meaning it has a lot more google juice. It may well be the duplicate target of other closed questions, it may have links to it on other sites, or on other locations on the network, as the place to go to get an answer to that question.

By posting your answer on the canonical question you make that new answer available to all of those additional source, not just the person that asked this one new duplicate. Even the person that asked this new duplicate is still being pointed to that question, so they can also see your answer, so it's not like their missing out or anything.

  • 1
    Thank you for such a good answer, I really didn't consider, "That question has been around for a lot longer, meaning it has a lot more google juice.". Thank you for the help and I greatly appreciate it! Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 21:48

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