It seems that the StackOverflow group is becoming quite large now - with StackOverflow, Meta, SuperUser, apps etc.

I just came up with an idea that maybe StackOverflow could have its own search engine which has a scope much larger than the StackOverflow group but much smaller than Google.

To start with this will exclude ALL sites (except, obviously, for the Stack sites - StackOverflow, Meta, SuperUser etc). Users submit technical sites which will then also be searched - for example programming forums or Google Code. Sites will go up for review (i.e. they wont be searched immediately - they will be reviewed first by administrators and users over so many points). If accepted the site will expand the search "scope" of the search engine.

I know there is a lot of stuff which goes on in the background of a search engine - such as indexing which takes a lot of time, but its just a thought and its open to criticism (constructive only please) or positive comments.

Good idea, bad idea? Opinions welcome.



PS this is only a quick thought I came up with 5 minutes ago, and I am currently revising for an exam at 9:30 tomorrow morning so really havent thought much about it - thought I should post this before I forget about it.


4 Answers 4


Why re-invent the wheel? Just create a Google Custom Search and include whatever sites or sections you want to show up.

  • That is one possibility, yes. At the moment users are only using either Google or StackOverflow to search for technical stuff. If SO had its own search engine using the Google Custom Search then this could be relatively easily achieved.
    – ClarkeyBoy
    Aug 31, 2010 at 6:26

I fear this is the type of idea that usually gets "middled."

It will be almost impossible to find the right line defining a universe that is meaningfully broader than the SO/SE network, and meaningfully narrower than Google (everything) in a way that is useful.

And I think that's true if you were just looking for "technical" answers; don't forget that the new SE network will increasingly include "every topic that has experts".

I too wish that I could search the whole web for answers that only come from credible, non-spam-site sources, but such a project is A) massively challenging, and B) probably closer in scope to what Google is good at than what SO is.

  • Well when I was looking for more information on REST earlier (not as in sleep - as in technical REST!!) I couldnt find any particularly good explanations on SO. I then found tomayko.com/writings/rest-to-my-wife on Google. It explains it in very basic terms that even a 5 year old, or a non-technical person could understand. My point is that I would submit that on the search engine as a web page to search. I know one can filter Google by one site - it may be possible to specify loads of sites and get results from all of them. It would be a big project, but whats life without challenges??
    – ClarkeyBoy
    Aug 30, 2010 at 22:09

implemented at http://stackexchange.com (though it searches all sites in the network)


To achieve the same effect, go to Bing.com or Google.com

Type: site:meta.stackovlerflow.com query abc123 then press Search or Enter!

Sure, a little work, but it works! :)

  • 2
    I think he was asking for multiple sites.. that only works for one site (or subsites, but remember se 2.0 sites will get unique domain names) Aug 31, 2010 at 2:22
  • @Jeff: that is very true, I didn't think of that...
    – studiohack
    Aug 31, 2010 at 2:40
  • Jeff you have it in one - multiple sites which are chosen and approved by the community. Single pages can also be submitted, for example the page I included in my comment on Jaydles answer.
    – ClarkeyBoy
    Aug 31, 2010 at 6:24

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