I don't really understand this one. Every time I searched for a programming question, at least one SO link pops up somewhere in the first page of the search results. I read about this in this question.

However, I cannot understand why whenever I searched for something in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics, most of the times, the corresponding SE sites are not present in the results.

According to an answer of the above post, this is why SO appears so many times in search results:

  1. Tons of (original) text content.
  2. Lots of internal linking + sitemaps make it easy to crawl.
  3. Prominently placed header tags with question titles.
  4. Tagging for extra keyword-relevance goodness.
  5. Question titles in url string.
  6. Lots of external links (from other sites to stackoverflow)

But other SE sites have these factors, right?

  • 1
    Actually, I do tend to get chem.SE as the first results of the relevant Google searches I'm doing. The thing is that they don't appear to contain as many questions as it would take to show up in every Google query.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 11 '15 at 12:42
  • 1
    About 1. - not just a lot of content, but new and ever changing content.
    – Oded
    Dec 11 '15 at 12:53
  • I see Movies & TV and Seasoned Advice all the time.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 11 '15 at 13:42
  • 1
    I mostly see Security...hmm, wonder if Google is tailoring results :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 11 '15 at 13:49


SO is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a lot of questions on Chemistry, but that's just peanuts to SO.*

Google prioritises large sites with highly rated, new and changing content, so if your search uses terms which are also appropriate on SO, you will get results from SO.

You can explicitly search only on the SE site you want, or exclude SO from results in the Google search bar.

*(apologies to Douglas Adams)

  • Hitchhiker's reference earned my +1 in .01 instants Dec 11 '15 at 19:51

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