I was just asking a question on Stack Overflow and after entering the title I got a hundred or so related questions, which are absolutely unrelated to anything I care about. Did anyone actually bothered to scroll the down and see more than the first 5 hints? Wouldn't it make more sense to filter it a bit better?

  • I find the ask-question-title-search the second best method, just after google. The third best method is asking the question! :P
    – cregox
    Apr 14, 2011 at 20:03

3 Answers 3


The stackoverflow search leaves much to be desired, however it is a useful quick check to see if there are any questions already asking the same thing. I think they could improve on it.

However, the site has been setup to help Google index the content as many people have pointed out that Google is really StackOverflow's homepage, and the majority of users will come from there and land on the question which answers their question (ie: google search).

Some ideas for additional search options have been suggested regarding the general search, and I think that the similar question search/filter needs to also be improved.


I have actually found the suggested results on the ask a question screen a lot more helpful than those that are returned by the search sometimes, I suppose with more questions the filters should be tightened up a bit.


Because the /ask page is matching entirely and exclusively on words in the title. Bad titles, bad results; good titles, good results.

It always made me laugh a little that people claimed this "method" of searching was better and more effective than our search box, which searches for your search terms in both title and body.

  • 7
    I know it seems silly, but I have experienced the situation where I'll do a search, not find an answer, start to ask a question, and the /ask search finds what I'm looking for. Maybe I write better titles than I do search terms? Jul 10, 2009 at 11:38
  • Hi Jeff, I am not sure I understand what you mean. I pasted the title of this question in the ask edit box, and got following: Why does stack overflow suggest so many irrelevant questions on the “Ask a Question” screen? (3) 5 Etiquette of Screen-scraping Stack Overflow? (2) 0 UI & Usability questions on Stack Overflow (2) 1 Move questions between Stack Overflow sites 0 Deployment Questions: ask on Stack Overflow or Server Fault? (2) the first one is perfect match, but I what do the other questions match? "Stack Overflow"?
    – Grzenio
    Jul 14, 2009 at 9:04
  • I completely agree with @Paul. I first try google, then I try ask-question-title-search. It does work much better than the search box (and even google, sometimes)!
    – cregox
    Apr 14, 2011 at 20:01

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