Quit Saying "Google Is Your Friend", Okay?

It belittles those of us who think that coming to the number 1 website for answers will give us the answer we want, and keeps us from recommending the site to other folks.

What I say to people who pose a question that I can’t answer: “You know what? I belong to a site called “The Straight Dope”. Join and post your question there, and in just a little while, there’ll be an answer or if not, someone will point you to a place where you CAN get an answer.”

None of us are Über-Menschen, but I’m proud to tell you (as I have before), you guys have saved me a LOT of money, just because I posted a question here.

So, please. Don’t turn folks away and send them to google with that phrase.

Who knows? Those folks (just as I do) may think, “Wow! How cool is that, and why didn’t I think of this before???”

“Google is your friend”, is just another way of saying, “Go away, boy! Ya bother me!”

Just my opinion, okay? :slight_smile:


I endorse the OP, especially since it would appear that Bing and Yahoo searches are more accurate than Google.

I have answered many of my own questions (not posed here) by turning to Google and/or Wikipedia. It can be difficult to perform a search when one doesn’t know the terms of art, or when one’s question is of a complex technical nature, but in some cases the questions that get asked on SDMB are painfully simple ones that can be easily resolved by searching known repositories of information.

Example, this recent thread in which the OP asks why vendors offer rebates. Wikipedia not only has a page on rebates, they have a lengthy section on that page that begins with the introduction, “Retailers and manufacturers have many reasons to offer them” and goes on to list ten answers to the OP’s question.

if it’ll make you happy, people can abolish the phrase “Google is your friend” and instead just post a link to Google search results for the OP’s question exactly as originally worded.

See? You guys go right to war, don’t you?

None of these answers have ANYTHING to do with the OP.

You continue to believe that if anyone asks a question that you think is stupid, that they themselves must be stupid.

If that isn’t your intent, you sure come across that way.

You mean, sniff, Google isn’t my friend? He SAID he was!

If someone can’t even TRY to help themselves, I don’t see why I should help them. This isn’t, and should not be, the #1 place for basic facts on the internet. That is, and should be, wikipedia. If someone asks a question I think is stupid, I don’t think they’re stupid. I think they are lazy.

If you have a friend that wants to know something that is more or less a basic fact WHY wouldn’t you encourage him to do a little research for his or herself? Why would you NOT want them to know they can easily obtain the information, by putting a few words into google? I don’t get it. If they still have questions after they’ve learned the basics, bring it on.

The most awkward questions are where the person is too ignornant to know they are asking something highly controversial. Then they blunder into a real hornet’s nest.

When I post questions here, it’s because I’m actually interested in the SDMB community’s take on it and the related anecdotes, side information and other jaunts that come with it. The collective responses (and responses to those responses) are usually more informative to me than a Google search or Wikipedia page.

but can I text the Straight Dope and have you all send me answers? :smiley:

Help, help, I’m being repressed!

OK, clarify your OP. Are you annoyed that querents are being tersely referred elsewhere for answers, or are you annoyed that they are being belittled in the process? Or both?

You have no idea what I believe. “Stupid” don’t figure into this. There are no stupid questions, but there are some questions whose answers can easily be found via even minor resourcefulness.

Tell ya what. From now on, I’ll avoid posting links to Google or Wikipedia when responding to an OP. I’ll just present here as my own the wisdom that I find from browsing those resources. It’s a twofer: the querent will no longer feel like an ass, and I will appear all the more unachievably brilliant from their perspective.

The downside is that said querent will no longer learn the hidden lesson that enlightenment is sometimes just a web search away.

Moving thread from IMHO to MPSIMS.

Exactly. And some people want their answers to come with a little human interaction. This is a social board, after all.


Sure, some questions are inanely simple and my first reaction is usually “Why didn’t they just Google that?”

But more often than not, despite the obligatory ‘Google is your friend’ link, there continues a discussion on the finer points.

That’s what I like about this place; it fosters further discussion, banter and information in a more conversational and direct experience.

And I also like the smell… is that cinnamon?


A lot of people are really bad at using search engines. They don’t know how to choose useful search terms, they don’t know about literal strings, they don’t know about search term modifiers, and so forth. If they ask a question that can be easily answered with a quick search, I see no reason not to provide an example search along with the answer it located. They get an answer, and hopefully learn a little about searching at the same time.

That’s so meta, you could type a cokebottle with it.

I figure Google (and Wikipedia) is my friend.

If somebody comes here and asks a really easy question that I know I can answer in two minutes with a quick search, I assume they’re unaware of how easy the search would be. So I go and get the answer and post it. I do practically nothing but the other guy is amazed at how I was able to answer his question so quickly. He thinks I must a genius to know all this stuff and I’m not going to spill the illusion by telling him how easily he could have done it hemself.

Make me.

I’ll continue using it, because that is exactly how I mean it. If you can’t be bothered to do a simple search for the answer to your question, I can’t be bothered to waste my time answering it.

However, if someone’s having trouble or mentions that they already tried searching, well, that’s another matter entirely.

But you would waste your time telling them that you are not going to answer it?

Very productive.

“Google is your friend” is shorter than a meaningful answer to all but the simplest questions.

And THEN what happens (sometimes) is the answer you googled up is a compilation of the most POPULAR perspectives that doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny by a passing expert who is browsing the boards for some other reason. So you get to learn that your google-fu, while strong, is also inaccurate “and here’s why…”

Also, the answers themselves lead into questions the OP might never have even thought to ask.