I just googled "interface vs abstract class c#" and the first Stack Overflow question is this one which has a score of 12, and is closed as a duplicate of a 400+ scored question.

This happens fairly regularly it seems. Why would it be appearing higher in the search results?

  • You searched for C#, the duplicate question is language agnostic, it doesn't even mention C#. If you had searched for "interface vs abstract class", this would probably be the top result. – yannis May 5 '14 at 3:41
  • 3
    ... and this is why we don't delete dups. (As long as they're reasonably different (i.e. different wording) and not terrible in quality.) – Doorknob May 5 '14 at 3:51

For every x good questions, there are n x mediocre dupes. Your search terms turned up one of the dupes, because the wording matched closer to it. By the exact same logic, the original poster didn't find the original because they worded it sufficiently differently.

Stack Overflow, and in fact all SE sites at a critical size, must rely on both depth and breadth to successfully bring in visitors. Broad search terms land users on many questions, but they in turn funnel toward one deep canonical post. Everybody wins.

Lastly, remember that anonymous visitors don't land on the duplicate. They are redirected directly to the final destination. The funnel does work efficiently.

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