When I go to StackExchange.com and want to find the appropriate site for my physics question, I immediately think to use the search box at the top of the page labeled "Search all sites". So, I type in "physics" and I get 119,848 results, the first 11 pages of which are mostly from Stack Overflow and Ask Ubuntu.

I have seen that you can find a listing of all sites by name, but the way to get to that list and navigate through it to Physics is significantly longer than just typing in "Physics" in the search box.

Would it be a good idea to have sites with names containing the key search words appear first on the list of results?

  • You could always just type keyword.stackexchange.com in your address bar and see what comes up.
    – ale
    Jul 3 '18 at 13:07
  • @ale I could, but someone not as familiar with the URLs might not think of that. In many URLs, you never know if you should type "physics.stackexchange.com" or "stackexchange.com/physics" etc (sorry, I'm on a Mac so it's /physics not \physics). I feel the most intuitive thing for a beginner is the search box at the top of the page, since it is placed so prominently on the page and says "Search all sites" Jul 3 '18 at 13:11

You can always use the MultiCollider SuperDropdown™ that appears when you click on the Stack Exchange icon on the top bar while you're on any site. Scroll down just a bit, and there's an entry spot that allows you to search the names and descriptions of all the sites on the network:

enter image description here

Searching "Physics" brings up Physics, and stopping at "Physic" also brings up Physical Fitness and Astronomy, since the latter has the word "astrophysicists" in its description.

  • That's exactly what I'm looking for, but I can't find it. Can you please upload a full screenshot of where it is? What OS are you using? Jul 3 '18 at 0:02
  • @ThomBlairIII Done.
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 3 '18 at 0:04
  • 3
    Thank you very much! Not to belabor a point, but to me at least that icon seems like a much less intuitive place a newcomer might look compared to the "search all sites" search box. Jul 3 '18 at 0:05
  • 2
    This is much simpler than what I've done in the past: bring up the list of all sites and then use my browser to perform a text search. Had I known of this method, I would have used it some time ago. Jul 3 '18 at 14:11

I agree that this can be a problem.

Take HDE's answer, your question, and this example: "quantum mechanics".

  • Going to physics.SE directly provides almost 15K hits.

  • Going to the main StackExchange site doesn't mention physics.SE once in the first few pages.

    Instead it offers less helpful suggestions like: english.SE first, and floods the results with math.SE (with little more than 1300 results), even favoring SO with a measly 170 returns and Quantitative Finance with fewer than 10 hits).

  • Needless to say the the MultiCollider SuperDropdown™ falls silent with zero results.

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