The question How should we deal with Google questions? defines a Google question as a question that you can find the answer to by a simple Google search and according to anon's answer, such a question can be flagged as off topic. However, some web pages are very unreliable. Sometimes people get a search result with wrong information. If somebody asked a question making it very clear and explaining how they could find some Google search results with the answer but all of the ones they could find an answer in, they think are unreliable web pages, and they believe there are some experts who already know the correct answer, I don't see the problem with them asking that question.

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    On second thought, if you ask a question and explain (as you say) why you think the existing resources are not sufficient, I think it's perfectly fine to ask the question. Jun 5, 2019 at 0:06
  • @Machavity I think maybe this question was better before the edit because sometimes some search results are reliable and some have an answer but none of them are reliable search results that have an answer, and I made it clear that I meant when all of the search results with an answer are unreliable and I'm not sure that in all such situation, it's also the case that every single search result is unreliable.
    – Timothy
    Jun 15, 2019 at 2:16
  • @Timothy The last sentence was a run-on sentence. I tried to keep the essence of what you were saying but make it stated clearly. If you don't like it, just edit
    – Machavity
    Jun 15, 2019 at 2:23

2 Answers 2


You accepted the premise of the question verbatim, but the answers explain why that is entirely incorrect.

Legitimately asking folks to flag or close questions which are <quote> "easily Googleable" is not a thing. It grew from one of our early (unfounded) policy discussions that took on a life of its own… until it devolved to the point of absurdity.

There is absolutely no basis for closing a question based on a user's ability to do a Google search.

Where did "easily googlable" come from?

Once upon a time, we imagined Stack Overflow filling with questions of overt trivia — questions like: "Who wrote 'The Art of Computer Programming?'" — where it was felt that folks should take the smallest bit of effort to look it up before asking folks to do it for them.

It never became a problem in actual practice, and we dropped close reasons like "general reference" and "too localized" a long time ago.

Still, the belief that a question should reach some pre-sanctioned level of complexity before someone is allowed to ask devolved into littering questions with LMGTFY links (now banned). Later, users started building lists of reference material folks should be required to consult before asking "general reference" questions (Star Trek Encyclopedia and Wookieepedia even made that list somewhere).

Folks later coined the term "lazy question" to label users running afoul of this "Google first" requirement — which finally devolved into discussions about exactly how deep an answer should appear in a Google Search before not being deemed "too obvious".

It's all nonsense. Ignore it, or point folks here who suggest such activities are somehow warranted.

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    Sure, you can't flag/close such questions. But you can absolutely downvote them if you think they're not very good questions. "Does not show any research effort" even appears in the tooltip for the downvote arrow. Frankly, I've never understood why a segment of the Stack Exchange community is so hell-bent on closing "bad" questions, instead of just downvoting them (which is faster, has a lower rep requirement, and is the intended use of the voting system).
    – Kevin
    Jun 5, 2019 at 7:10
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    Perhaps add something about duplicates. Simple questions are very likely duplicates (at least on Stack Overflow, after nearly 11 years and 17,757,815 questions). Jun 5, 2019 at 9:53
  • I agree with this but "but the answers explain why that is entirely incorrect." is...not correct as far as I can see for the question that OP linked. In fact, the top answer says "You can also flag it as off topic". Some of the later answers do touch on it though. Jun 5, 2019 at 13:46
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    @Rubiksmoose Good catch. That was added (incorrectly) years after the fact and has just been corrected and clarified. Jun 5, 2019 at 14:09
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    @PeterMortensen Sure, but it's just not relevant to the question asked. All questions are subject to voting and closure if they have other problems; agreed. But when we're talking about being more inclusive and accepting of users and questions which may not interest us personally, jumping straight to finding other ways to spurn and exclude them is concerning. Jun 5, 2019 at 14:32
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    Some SE sites (English Language & Usage and Movies & TV spring to mind) do have a policy of closing questions which are "easily Googleable" (under the banner of "insufficiently researched" or "trivia"). It might be worth giving a nod to that in your answer. Jun 5, 2019 at 15:18
  • @Randal'Thor As much as I know, at least one of these sites doesn't actually close questions for being "easily Googleable", which makes this comment a bit misleading. Sep 25, 2019 at 19:47

It's not really about googleability. It's about overall quality. Folks prefer it if you show your work, rather than expect to have what looks like a simple question answered.

Showing your work's things like showing what you have tried so far (which saves you the trouble of having someone telling you to try that thing you already tried, or catching the typo you missed). Research helps you find questions already asked, saving you time.

If it's simple enough to type into a search engine, its a title, not a question. Add to it, build on it.

If you think a resource you found on Google is wrong, include a reference to it and why you think its wrong.

Showing your work is powerful.

That said, all these things help you get the best answer possible.

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