Someone on Twitter recently asked this, or more accurately… they asked, “what makes googling code different from googling anything else?” I responded:
I’d say it comes down to specificity. “best apple pie recipe” has a high chance that great recipes display in the 1st results page & relate directly to what I’m looking for. However if I need to solve a specific error the results don’t always show me what I need on the 1st page.— Jerad (@jeradsdesign) November 15, 2021
However, I felt like this answer needed some elaboration. Specificity is a huge part of it. However, sometimes you think you are being as specific as anyone ever could be and you still aren’t seeing the results you need in the results. Despite what most people seem to think, Google and other search engines ARE NOT PERFECT.
They use AI and all kinds of amazing code and technologies to make their results the best they can, but they still are not actual humans answering your questions. *Shockingly*, they have even been caught showing biased results for things like when someone asks a question like “how can I get a job?” versus “how would one go about attaining their career?” The second search was showing higher paid positions.
A trick I learned while researching for papers in college was: use more than one search engine. I know what you’re thinking… “wait, there’s something out there besides Google?” Yes, I’ll admit the rest are nowhere near the quality of what Google normally provides. However, the sheer fact that you can type in the exact same search and receive completely different results can be really helpful when you don’t want the same response all the other students in your class are going to turn in or if you are looking for an answer to your code issue that is a bit outside-the-box. Mostly because I like their stance on data-privacy, one of my main go-to search engines is DuckDuckGo.
Hope you found this helpful!