1

Often Google shows a Stack Exchange page first in search results (raise your hand if this is how you first discovered S.E.). Sometimes the interest inferred from the Google search terms is different from that of the original poster of the Stack Exchange question. Is it useful to address both in answers?

Granted, a better approach might be to write a new Stack Exchange page, tailored more toward the intent of the Google terms, and hope someday that appears high in the search engine results. But that would not at first (and may never) help the googlers.

Case: "gmail monospace" searches are plausibly from people sending gmail. Today (August 2015) it leads first to this question, about received gmail. I tried to answer both, though with a bias for the googlers.

Related:

(Note, this is not about how to answer questions when Google results show an answer from some non-SE site. It's about how to answer questions that themselves appear first in Google searches.)

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There's nothing wrong with adding extra bonus stuff to your question to help others, but I think an even better solution is to ask a new question that covers the aspects you think the Google folks were looking for. (Optionally, you can answer the new question, too.) If you want to help folks find the new question, you can try to include terms and phrases that you think people are likely to search for. Sooner or later Google is likely to discover the new page, and that will help searchers find useful information.

I think this will be more effective. First, it puts the information in the right place, and helps keep information organized nicely. Second, who knows, maybe someone else will answer the new question and will have an even better answer -- you might get answers that wouldn't have shown up otherwise.

(Incidentally, ou can add a comment to the original question linking to the new one, if you think that'll help, for example, to help cover the time until Google discovers the new question and discovers that it's more relevant.)

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