"Oops! This page doesn't exist or is private."

I’ve encountered this a few times, when trying to search past threads and posts, using Google.

I know the threads and posts are there in the SDMB database. Why is Google telling me that they are not?

Google still has a bunch of URLs that it indexed during the vBulletin days. Eventually those will drop away and leave just the valid results. It’s already a lot better than it was in the weeks after the change.

Edit: You might try using site:boards.straightdope.com/t, which I think will limit the results to threads on Discourse.

You can also search using the SDMB built-in search function. It’s fairly good.

Click on the magnifying glass at the top, and ‘options’ for advanced options.

This. Quit with Google. Use Discourse’s search. It’s really good.

Unfortunately one problem we do have is old vBulletin posts with old links to even older posts. Those links still point to the URL of the old vBulletin post, not to the transferred post in Discourse.

Some of the more recent vBulletin threads seem to have been fixed up, but most have not. And often folks just linked the thread by ID with no additional words that can help you search for whatever they were referring to.

You’ll also see a phrase like that if a thread has been cornfielded when started by a spammer or sock. Those are not available by any means without the superpowers bestowed on mods and admins.

With some of these I was able to manually modify the URL in order to load the linked page, though there seem to be different formats depending on if the link was to a thread or a post within it. So it should be possible to fix the old links programmatically if someone has the necessary access.