Why does a Q&A search for "circled r" show only reirab’s answer about private airports and not PMoubed’s question about the Communications section in the Chart Supplement? Both contain the phrase in question.

  • $\begingroup$ Seems to be a known issue $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Oct 6, 2016 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot Even curiouser: search for *circled r* and get the complement, PMoubed's question but not reirab's answer. PMoubed used Circled R formatted as code, which appears to confuse the SE site search. $\endgroup$
    – Greg Bacon
    Oct 6, 2016 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ Obviously, it's because my answer is better. :) Or it could just be because SE's search is awful. One of those. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Oct 14, 2016 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Short answer: Because the site's built-in search sucks.

Longer answer: Stack Exchange sites are Q&A platforms, not search engines. The built-in search is kind of a best-effort thing: Sometimes it's good, other times it misses things or pulls up irrelevant pages.
Use Google if comprehensive results are important.

  • $\begingroup$ Searching Google for '"circled r" chart supplement" leads to the airport tag with a promising looking excerpt, but by the time you visit the link, the question isn't in the page content. Yes, searching Google for '"circled r" afd' happens to yield the desired hit, and, yes, AF/D with chart supplement is an odd synonym. Still, it's a frustrating user experience. $\endgroup$
    – Greg Bacon
    Oct 6, 2016 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @GregBacon Note the specific search construct I used in that link ("circled R" site:aviation.stackexchange.com") - theres a reason I constructed the query that way (first result: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/23772/…) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Oct 6, 2016 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ (not that it isn't a subpar user experience either way, but search being lousy has been a network-wide complaint for quite a while: I doubt we're going to get a fix for it, search is a hard problem) $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Oct 6, 2016 at 22:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Has a Google custom search box been considered? $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:14

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