If there is a subject that one is able to garner an answer about via Google, should it still be asked here?

I have added two answers Yes and No below with reasons. Please vote for those answers and edit them to add more reasons. Discuss the reason in comments. Thanks.

Note that there is a related question already on meta, but I'm attacking the subject from the opposite direction: Should we allow easy to answer questions?

5 Answers 5


No, because:

  1. If not worded carefully, it may become another low-quality question.
  2. If the answer already exists, why clutter the intercords with more useless bits?
  • I vote no, because SE sites are more about providing answers to difficult questions that you may not be able to get answered elsewhere. If someone does ask a question that can easily be found through Google, then my hope would be that they would ask for some additional information about that topic which might not be included with what is already available. However, we need to make sure that the question is asking for facts and NOT opinions. Jul 17, 2012 at 14:41
  • Thanks, Steven. I would venture to propose that most forum sites that I have seen that they do value opinion as well as fact, with little distinction between the two. This is quite the feature that makes me respect SE more than other sites (unless I am specifically looking for opinion).
    – dotancohen
    Jul 17, 2012 at 15:23

I'd like to say that this has been discussed before: Should we allow easy to answer questions?

The general answer was no if it can be found using google, but if a quick google search didn't find it, then sure go a head and ask, as sometimes a easy question for some is a hard question for others.


I'm not sure.

If the answer is yes, then it would seem that our goal is to build up a repository of answers to history questions, which doesn't seem to completely align with the spirit of a stack exchange site.

If the answer is no, then we are denying potentially beneficial material from entering our site just because someone already knows the answer to it.

I feel like we shouldn't allow people to do this because then they could feel justified in providing a pseudo-academic live journal on the site. However, we do need content and traffic. I'm curious to hear others thoughts on the matter.


I agree with Russell. If it takes a carefully crafted Google query or multiple Google searches or weeding of bad search results then by all means post the question here and answer it too (Q&A style). But I think if you post the answer 2-3 days later it will attract other site members during that time --diversity of opinion is what distinguishes this site from many others.

The advantage of doing this is to make this question readily searchable on the internet --not a lot of people may be able to follow the sequence of queries that you may have followed and a lot of people may not be able to separated bad citations from good ones. History SE can help those people in that case.


Yes, because:

  1. We will have an interesting discussion here.
  2. It might lead to other relevant, related questions.
  3. It will increase the scope of the site, hopefully thereby catching some much needed traffic.
  • 2
    The purpose of SE sites is NOT to stir up interesting discussions, but to provide answers to difficult questions that people may not be able to easily find elsewhere. If someone posts a question specifically to spark discussion, it will most likely end up being removed. Jul 17, 2012 at 14:39
  • That is simply not true. I am a frequent user of the original stackoverflow and there are plenty of newbie questions on programming. In fact there are plenty of high rep users who go out of their way to encourage newbie questions and view people who downvote questions simply because they are too easy as harmful to the site. I've upvoted this answer. Aug 2, 2013 at 13:50

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