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I'd like to search all sites for "Wikipedia", but exclude Stack Overflow because the questions there are totally out of the scope I'm looking for.

By reading the How do I search? page, I see that:

  1. I can search on one site only, if I use url:stackoverflow.com;
  2. I can exclude results, if I use something like -Wikipedia.

The problem is: Wikipedia -url:stackoverflow doesn't seems to work. I was expecting that it would search all sites excluding Stack Overflow.

Do I get a syntax error for the semantics that I seek, or is this operation not supported by the 'search all sites' feature?

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    The url: operator does not search by Stack Exchange site. It searches for posts which contain a link matching the text you specified. So searching for url:stackoverflow.com would search for posts that contain a link to stackoverflow.com within them.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jul 20 at 18:54

2 Answers 2

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For questions tagged with 'wikipedia', the alternative is to use Stack Exchange Filtered Questions. However, it can only show a total of 100 questions.

Example for All questions tagged with 'Wikipedia' except on SO:

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This is not possible. Somehow, when searching for a term, the results seem ... randomly ordered. Even the Data Explorer won't help here - body searches are too heavy for some of the largest sites in the network.

It gets better when you use search operators:

Then, the results look to be grouped by site, which is probably easier for you to work with - the Stack Overflow results are lumped at the end, so the first few pages are free of Stack Overflow. (The last few pages probably contain non-SO results as well, be sure to check them as well.) Do note that pagination is broken...

As an alternative for common searches, you can visit a regular search engine of your choice and use the site parameter. This is what Google returns for site:stackexchange.com "wikipedia". You'll miss out on a few sites (Super User, Server Fault, Ask Ubuntu, MathOverflow, Stack Apps) but you can search them separately if you want to.

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