If I search for exposure triangle, I get 3 questions (none of which really relate to the exposure triangle.)

Seems to me like What is the "exposure triangle"? should show up as one of the results.

It looks like the search feature is interpreting exposure as a tag, as the right column says "3 search results for posts containing triangle tagged with [exposure]"

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I just added the tag "exposure" to that question, which should help the specific case, but clearly there's a bug. Also, clearly, I need to write up my rant on that subject. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    May 8, 2011 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


the implied tag in that search is getting mapped to .

We automatically do this for the top N tags on a site. Therefore when you search for

exposure triangle

you are actually de-facto searching for

[exposure] triangle

Because that's the 14th most used tag on the site.

edit: Our threshold for this "search word to tag" conversion is 25 questions minimum, which may be too low since we totally rewrote search. I went ahead and increased it to 100 questions minimum.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What a strange feature! Now I start to understand why I don't seem to get anything useful whenever I try to use the search tool. I usually just give up and use google (with something like site:xxx.stackexchange.com) instead, and then get the expected results... \$\endgroup\$ May 8, 2011 at 21:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @jukka a huge proportion of searches on Stack Overflow were for the word "c#". What kind of results do you think they got? Also before "giving up" in such dramatic fashion, why not visit photo.stackexchange.com/search and use the Google option there on that page? (just press enter in the search box to get to that page) \$\endgroup\$ May 8, 2011 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, it is good to know that there is a simpler way to use Google search on SE sites! \$\endgroup\$ May 8, 2011 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there no way to quote the search terms or designate otherwise to prevent some surprises like this? \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    May 8, 2011 at 23:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rfu try putting a plus in front of each word, or putting each word in quotes. \$\endgroup\$ May 9, 2011 at 0:39

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