This question was closed as a duplicate, and the asker said that the suggested question didn't show up in the Related Questions when he asked. So of course I had to try this myself.

I copy/pasted the question title into a new question, and the duplicate didn't show up.

I copy/pasted the question title into the search box, and the duplicate came up 4th in the search results.

Are the searching algorithms different? We need to make it easy for users to find these duplicate questions. It's understandably confusing, especially for new users who don't understand the system.

  • 4
    funny thing is ... on one or two occasions i've resorted to doing "add new question" with no intention of following through with it, but just to see a different set of results. so yeah, the algorithms are definitely different, sometimes [Ask Question] yields the best results, other times it's [Search]
    – hawbsl
    Commented Feb 17, 2010 at 19:56
  • @hawbsl: Yeah, me too. Though now that I'm more experienced with the UI and format, I usually just search by tag.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Feb 17, 2010 at 20:06
  • And this shows up third in the "Related" sidebar for this question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20432/…
    – Ether
    Commented Feb 17, 2010 at 20:30
  • 1
    @Ether: It's related, definitely, but it's neither a duplicate nor does it solve the problem.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Feb 17, 2010 at 20:39
  • Nothing's going to solve the problem unless the site maintainers/developers choose to do something about it, unfortunately :(
    – Ether
    Commented Feb 17, 2010 at 22:32
  • @hawbsl, Jon: I do that too. If Jeff and co aren't going to do something about it, perhaps some responses to 'satisfy' us?
    – o.k.w
    Commented Feb 17, 2010 at 23:59
  • This question is, itself, a dupe: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20432/… Note especially Jeff's answer.
    – Pops
    Commented Jul 27, 2010 at 14:31
  • Tried searching "Howto set attribute for all activities in AndroidManifest?" and got no hits. Same in "Ask question" and there were lots of hits .. this is annoying! Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 12:28

2 Answers 2


The /questions/ask page is the same as searching with intitle:1 , that is, it only searches title text exclusively.

For a full list of advanced search operators see:

  • Given the same input (and only that input), do you think it might be better to show the set of results returned by the search page (without intitle:1)?
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Aug 26, 2010 at 3:41

I would like to see the related questions list take tags into account. I often find that when I'm trying to ask a question, the related list is filled with questions that have similar wording to my question but about a different technology. If it filtered out unrelated tags it might help only list the questions that may actually be related.

  • it already does; tag matching is weighted very highly. The "problem" is that you have INCREDIBLY strong matches on title and body which are overruling the tag matching. Commented May 24, 2010 at 23:54

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