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Scenario:

  1. question A is closed as duplicate of B
  2. user raises a flag on A to request it gets merged into B
  3. flag is declined because some variation on "loosing a good signpost"

I know the URL of a merged question should redirect to the merge destination. Just like duplicates (in certain cases). So far so good.

However declining the request to merge is based on the assumption that merged questions stop being indexed by search engines. That certainly isn't the case for duplicates.

I wasn't able to find any confirmation of this theory anywhere, nor I have a solid empirical proof.

Is it true that, for all intents and purposes, merging looses the signpost by making it non indexable?

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  • 2
    If anyone wants to science: I recently merged this one, screenshot here on MSE.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Nov 23, 2023 at 13:10
  • 1
    I think the 'big' problem for merges is its destructive, and in MOST cases a dupe close works. The only advantage is having all the answers under one question. Nov 23, 2023 at 13:34
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek ideally we do want all answers in one place. Otherwise the solutions are just scattered all over. So, dupe closure is not the best way to handle this as it still segregates answers. However, merger is indeed not a silver bullet, either. It's very possible for questions to be duplicates but the answers cannot simply be added together as the answers brought in might not make sense in context at the target location because they were addressing different wording of a question. Neither keeping duplicates with answers nor merging them is a good long-term solution.
    – VLAZ
    Nov 23, 2023 at 15:16

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