why does a search for "indicators" return the #1 hit as a closed thread with one upvote that was closed because it was an exact duplicate of the thread "List of application indicators" that has been upvoted 171 times, instead of that thread?

  • It's hard to help you unless you tell us you sort searches by.
    – N.N.
    Nov 23, 2011 at 7:48
  • @N.N., sorted by relevance. Why are closed questions even showing up in search results at all?
    – psusi
    Nov 23, 2011 at 14:43
  • 2
    Try using this for searching instead :) Nov 23, 2011 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


Closed questions may contain relevant content. For instance if a question is closed as a duplicate both the duplicate and the original question (linked from the duplicate) may contain relevant content.

I don't know what the algorithm for relevance sorted searches is but the tooltip says "Search results with best match to search terms". So sorting by relevance is about finding posts that post matches the search terms best and then it's irrelevant whether or not it's closed.

If you want to posts with most votes you can sort search results by Votes (and you can also sort by Newest and Active).

  • I would think that the original question that is both highly upvoted, and has several dups pointing to it should rank as much more relevant than any of the closed dups. Also when a question is closed as a dup, any good answers are supposed to be moved to the other question, so that kind of negates the argument that the closed questions may still have relevant answers.
    – psusi
    Nov 23, 2011 at 15:16
  • 1
    @psusi My answer is descriptive not normative. I'm describing how searches work not how they should work. You tagged your question as support and not as feature request or bug so I read it as asking for how the site works (descriptive). Questions that are closed as duplicates are not always merged, see meta.askubuntu.com/questions/1959/…
    – N.N.
    Nov 23, 2011 at 16:05

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