Based on a discussion here and here, should questions that can be googled be disallowed?

  • 3
    If so, then every question will be off topic once it's asked... The most recent question is already indexed by google. :)
    – Flimzy
    Jun 28, 2012 at 4:02

3 Answers 3


You should completely remove "This answer is Googleable" from your vocabulary because it is a gross mis-characterization of the issue.

We've experimented with a close reason called general reference to rid some sites of ultra-basic questions — questions that are asked in such a lazy fashion as to be easily findable in references designed to quickly and effortlessly find that information. For example:

Question: What is the Qur'an?
Answer: "Grrr... Why don't you just look it up?!"

closed as [general reference]
This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.

But we have all-but-given up adding this close-reason across the network precisely because of this kind of misunderstanding. People are quick to conflate the problems of "general reference" questions with "anything that is easily googleable"… and the close hammer starts coming down without thought or understanding behind the prohibition.

There are questions which are simply too trivial to ask. It's not about being too easy or easily googlable… It's about boring to tears the very users you are trying to attract. There's nothing wrong with an intriguing easy question asked with care and forethought of purpose, but you have to stay keenly focused on asking questions as you would ask them to an "expert."

To attract experts, you need people asking interesting and challenging questions. A site where experts are answering your questions will attract a broader audience. But experts will NOT use a site that starts out top-heavy with trite "busy work."

  • StackExchange focus tends to be entirely on attracting experts and less towards serving the purpose of having the site in first place i.e. for people to ask questions. Jul 12, 2012 at 14:00
  • 2
    @HasanKhan There's no shortage of questions on the Internet. The problem is with the quality of the answers. From Asking the First Questions "To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other Q&A site. Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around!" So that's where our focus lies. Jul 12, 2012 at 14:53
  • @HasanKhan The whole point of the site wasn't to make an encyclopedia of every question you could ever ask about Islam. It's about asking questions, that may or may not be commonly asked, that will attract experts. Once we have the experts, the site shifts into action and begins producing expert questions on Islam. Basically, any level of "difficulty" is allowed, as long as there isn't an entire Wikipedia article on it, or it can be answered in one sentence.
    – Dynamic
    Jul 13, 2012 at 23:06

Personally, I would vote that they should be allowed. Googling for answers on Islam has varying degrees of success (depending on the question). There are far too many single sided articles out there. One of the reasons (I believe) for the existence of this SE site is to allow for multiple viewpoints and answers.

  • 1
    There are numerous articles that do have multiple viewpoints regarding islamic matters (like shia/sunni opinions) etc..
    – user123
    Jun 26, 2012 at 7:13
  • 1
    @Power-Inside - Yes. And then you have articles written by the fundamentalist fringe, like Al Qaeda sympathizers and the like. Jun 26, 2012 at 18:19

Rate Schedule. Answers $1. Thoughtful Answers $2 Correct Answers $4 Dumb looks still free

(Image source)

Googling may give you an answer, but it may not be a correct answer. With topics other than Islam, there's often enough of a problem with inadvertent misinformation. With Islam, the situation is worse, because there's the potential problem of deliberate misinformation.

  • Agree with this. A lot of sites on Islam are not very accurate, unfairly biased, and fail to cite anything. Just because it's "Googleable" doesn't make it a correct answer. It is so bad that even Wikipedia is a more reliable source than most websites.
    – Muz
    Aug 4, 2012 at 4:12

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