I did a google search and got a link to one of your questions. Unfortunately the question was closed (it seems like almost all the questions are closed as duplicates in my experience). Since it was closed as a duplicate, it would have been really nice if I could have been redirected to the page duplicated so I could get the answer there.

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You have a great site. Keep up the good work.

  • 6
    I don't quite understand your question here. Right at the top of the closed question there's a block starting with "Possible Duplicate:" and then providing a link to the question it was closed as a duplicate of. Isn't that a "clear link"? Do you think this link should be placed somewhere else?
    – Oak
    Jun 14, 2012 at 20:57
  • I think he's asking for the site to automatically redirect to the duplicated question.
    – Niro
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:11
  • @Fluttershy I think that might work if we deleted the question - but then the question wouldn't be on Google to begin with
    – badp
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:37
  • meta.stackexchange.com/questions/104284/… is relevant. It says merges should redirect, but not just closed as dupe. Except that the example here was merged, and it doesn't seem to redirect to me.
    – bwarner
    Jun 15, 2012 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


There is not an automatic redirect, because duplicate questions are kept around intentionally. They may have information in the question, and may have informational comments and answers that help a searcher, in addition to a link to the duplicated question, which of course has more information.

Duplicates can be merged or deleted, but they are intentionally left around as additional avenues to find an answer. As you experienced, some search terms lead to the duplicate, even if they might not have led to the original duplicated question.

Now, perhaps the "closed as exact duplicate" box could also provide a link to the original, but that link is right there in the box @Oak mentions, so hopefully it is very visible.

  • 2
    Actually, there is an automatic redirect, but only if the closed question has no answers. Since the closed question has several answers, it does not forward. If you see a dupe question with a mediocre or redundant answer that is worse than those that the dupe points to, you should probably down vote it until it has a negative score so that those of us who have the rep can vote to delete it. (Also, let us know via chat or just flag a mod or whatever) Jun 15, 2012 at 1:26
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz I've never been redirected when viewing a dupe, is this new? I also have to entirely disagree with downvoting and deleting dupes based on their answers, they should stick around if they use different terms from the other question and increase surface area for searching. Jun 15, 2012 at 17:35
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    @QAtthew Read it only happens when a new/anonymous user comes to a dupe via a search engine. And to be clear, I'm talking about clearing out low quality answers which prevent this behavior. Never the questions. Jun 15, 2012 at 18:00
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz Ah, very cool. Thanks for clarifying. Jun 15, 2012 at 18:02

I posted a question related to this on meta.stackoverflow, which ironically was closed as a duplicate. What I gathered from it though is that they're going to keep things how they are despite the fact that it is a little confusing.

I think the reasoning behind is that when you vote to close as a duplicate, you can only suggest "Possible duplicates", but when it is closed, it is declared an exact duplicate. Different people can choose different possible duplicates, so in being pedantic, they can't really link to an "Exact Duplicate", only what people have voted the most as being a "Possible Duplicate".

  • That seems like a different issue than the redirect that the OP is requesting.
    – bwarner
    Jun 15, 2012 at 20:48
  • Based on the title of this question, I took as he is confused as to which question is being duplicated. The OP never really said he was requesting a redirect, just that it would be nice... I guess I'm not sure though. He hasn't clarified anything since posting.
    – PileOfDuty
    Jun 15, 2012 at 20:51

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