Searching the web for an answer to some question, google, sometimes, shows with a high ranking (<5) a link to some stackexchange thread.

The question shows a high number of upvotes (>100), gets a couple of well redacted answers displaying a high number of upvotes (>100).

However, this thread is marked closed duplicate.

Following the link to duplicate threads, you might find an actually similar question having few upvotes and answers, while not incorrect, will be far less detailed and getting much fewer votes.

I of course understand that SE is not responsible for google rankings and also understand that the thread was closed duplicate before reaching its reputation and irrespective of the value per se of the existing answers.


In that sort of situation, couldn't we have some automatic mechanism which inverts the original / duplicate status. (or at least only remove the duplicate status)

As an example I just find right now illustrating what I mean, searching google for "linux filesystem type detection" suggests How to show the filesystem type via the terminal? ranked #3, the very first link to U&LSE. I just voted to reopen.
First answer in that thread gets 174 upvotes; second link offered as reference is irrelevant and first link offered as reference leads to an older (indeed relevant though) question with best answer showing 27 upvotes.

  • 2
    This sort of thing would probably be better posted on the main meta. However, I think you only see this because you're an SE user and if you were not, the link from google would take you straight to the final dupe target. Try it in an incognito tab. That said, I'm also not 100% sure I understand you. Can you give some specific examples? What do you see in your search results, where does clicking on it take you and where would you want it to take you instead?
    – terdon Mod
    Jul 22, 2022 at 17:21
  • @terdon : My first point is that if google points me to some SE thread being closed, the first thing I see is a big blue div informing that the question is marked duplicate. I'll then immediately click on the link to the duplicated thread (not scrolling down to read more precisely) If I am not entirely satisfied by the answers, I will eventually come back on the first thread (closed duplicate) and discover a much more recent & detailed & credited answer. Easily avoidable loss of time.
    – MC68020
    Jul 23, 2022 at 10:29
  • @terdon : This point also relates to the fact that questions are often closed duplicate irrespective of the relative value of the answers offered in both threads. Only because at a given date, the question has already been asked and has already received an answer. But the googler just minds about answers ! And it can happen that answers do get a much higher value in the closed-duplicate thread than in the original one. => What about removing the closed-duplicate status after a certain time when at least one answer gets higher credits than any of those of the other thread.
    – MC68020
    Jul 23, 2022 at 10:50


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