How come, when I search for something with StackExchange, the results are horrid. But when I search on StackOverflow, the results are brilliant? I posed this question to @codinghorror on Twitter and he said to post the question here with screenshots, so I am. Here's the first step:

and here's the second step:

but StackOverflow's searching is magnificent. Why not use that?

  • 3
    There's a Google in those results you're peeking
    – random
    Apr 20, 2011 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


When you search on stackexchange.com, you are searching every Stack Exchange Site -- that is, every site in this list, for the query term "regular expression":


If you want to scope your search to an individual site, go to that site and use the search box at the upper right. Or enter the URL in this form:


Where example.stackexchange.com is the site you want to search, and foo is the thing you want to find on that site.

  • Thanks. I get it now. Maybe, and I know this would be difficult, some rudimentary searching across sites could be done? Then I could sort by date, for example?
    – vbullinger
    Apr 21, 2011 at 21:55

The reason the results differ is because StackExchange is a Google search, whereas when you search on Stackoverflow you get the results via SEs super secret search function, I mean not even Jon Skeet knows how this works(kidding, Jon Skeet wrote it... while sleeping). Plus everyone knows that QandA makes everything better.

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