I find it very hard to find my answer in existing question although I'm sure at times people already asked them.

Currently, before I ask a new question I search keywords from my question on google with stackoverflow (e.g "python dom parser stackoverflow"), then ask the question and look in the suggested questions. Finally I ask my question and wait for it to be called a duplicate.

Why isn't the search interface more developed? (or am I missing something)

  • 1
    In step 2 of your process (checking suggested questions), try rephrasing and rearranging your title a handful of times. For an obscure-ish question that you think might've been asked already, doing this increases the chance that you might find such a question, if it exists.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 6, 2010 at 15:28

4 Answers 4


You can modify your Google search slightly to make it more effective:

python dom parser site:stackoverflow.com

Now you get pages and pages of possibly relevant results instead of just two or three.

  • Unless you want to search the whole trilogy. I'm sure I asked a question about that... Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 14:04

First, tags are your friend. Search by tag and narrow from there. If you still can't find your answer and you're reasonably sure it's been asked before, try google.

If you can't find a similar question after a few moments of searching (for me, if I can't find a duplicate in 5 minutes) then post your question anyway. Getting your question marked as a duplicate is not inherently bad. If you phrase the question differently then other people will may your duplicate and thus your duplicate aids others in finding the "real" question.


  • I also don't think marking a question as a duplicate is necessarily bad. I do think "searching google" is a good answer and I'm not convinced - I still think there should be a search feature in stackoverflow.
    – Guy
    Commented May 12, 2010 at 11:01
  • @Guy: SO does have a search feature. In fact, it has two. There's a general search at the top right of every page, and a title search on the Ask Question page.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 14:30

The search help form is useful in these cases:


(or just press Enter in the search box at the upper right of every web page)


A lot of times I search for a question by clicking "Ask a Question" and then typing the search on the title.

I like getting near-instant results.

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