It seems like everytime I search for something using the built in search on SO/SF/SU I don't get good results unless I'm am searching for something very general. Is there a way to search for specific post? Or should I continue to use Google (maybe SO/SF/SU should just use Google also, why reinvent the wheel)?
A few recent changes in search..
Search now HEAVILY weights title in the results, since people seemed to really like that approach (used on the /ask page, which searched exclusively on title alone).
Any individual search terms which map directly to the top 40 tags will be auto-converted to tag searches. So if you enter
it will convert to
Try again and see if it is more to your liking.
It is notoriously bad.
Most people who search will continue to search using Google and limit the results to the site they are concerned about.
What you can also do is set up you own Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) and then you can define what sites you want that search to stick to.
I would only use our search if
you know an EXACT PHRASE that appears in the question or answer.
you know an EXACT PHRASE that appears within a SPECIFIC TAG
[search] "elephant muscles"
(that's how I use it)
For anything fuzzier, you'll be better off with Google. There's a reason Google is a trazillion dollar company and we are just 3 guys in a windowless, musty basement with a single unshaded lightbulb hanging down from a frayed electrical extension cord.
That's all I'm saying.
Jeff gets offended when this comes up, but it really isn't very good. Most "advanced" users just use "
site:stackoverflow.com <search terms>" to find things, as it is infinitely better.
HOWEVER, I believe there are some improvements being planned that would make the site search more relevant. In particular, things like being able to add
-userid:XXX to search for posts by a particular user and so on. For more on that, check out this question, which currently has "status-planned"
If you are going to use the built in search, be sure to know and use the tag syntax:
[tag] is often more constraining than just