(ref: Should "let-me-google-it-for-you" questions be tolerated?)

When questions are asked without googling first, it does tend to show in the quality of the question.

Now, I can be polite and actually google the question and post the first link that comes up (as I have done a few times) along with a handy downvote if the need arises.

Or I can do something like this (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+lmgtfy), in the comments.

It does seem a bit offensive the first time, but people usually understand the message, and usually dont repeat the mistake of not googling first (atleast in another forum I was part of). Granted this does come across as a bit sarcastic, but do you think its okay to use these links to encourage new users to google first ? If you get these links in an answer, would you be discouraged from asking questions here?

Or should we just stick to the polite comment ("Remember Google is your friend") ?

  • $\begingroup$ I personally don't think such links are offensive, and they can be an appropriate response to some questions. However, some users seem to find them offensive, since I've had a comment containing a lmgtfy link removed earlier (flagged I guess). $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2015 at 22:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Important: Not everyone here is a native English speaker. There's lots and lots of language barrier. Heck, we got another user suspended in chemistry.SE till 2016, because he always misunderstood our comments and responded rudely. FWIW, there's a big bad meta.SE post just about this and a few upvotes to it caused a status-completed in SO. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ It's only offensive if you intended offence. Misinterpretation is possible, but that's their problem ;) $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ This discussion happened already on stack exchange meta: goo.gl/9IEr1f $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2015 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ @aandreev yes, already pointed out two comments and a few day ago. I did not search meta stack exchange for this, just searched meta biology. $\endgroup$
    – Rover Eye
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 7:34

4 Answers 4


I disagree that posting LMGTFY answers to a question will be useful, for reasons dustin has already enumerated. What I would do to the case would be to vote to close the question as homework, followed by a comment that this answer is trivially googleable if I am so inclined.


In situations of laziness, I tend not to even Google it for them since it is on the lines of teach a man to fish and they can eat for a life time. I generally just comment saying isn't this Googlable? I think they should do their own search. The most I will do is down vote and vote to close.

LMGTFY may be sarcastic, but by doing this, the OP still doesn't have to do anything since you did it for them. Why would they change if users are going to even give them the Google hit page? Yes some will make a change but the ones that respond to that will respond to "isn't this Googlable?" as well so why go out of your way to get the hit page, paste it in lmgtfy, and copy the link? That is a lot of effort on your part for laziness.


I think it comes across as snarky and unprofessional, and overall doesn't match the tone of the rest of the website. That's just my opinion, of course. I think a better alternative would be to say "Try googling this with the keywords [such and such]"

  • $\begingroup$ This is a decent answer to questions like "how do I find information on X, I was googling all evening using phrases, e.g. Y and Z". $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2015 at 4:04

Including such a link does come across as a bit sarcastic, but I don't think it comes across as offensive. At least, speaking personally, I've had people do it to me and I didn't take offense. After all, they were succinctly just making the obvious point that you should do a search before asking a question. Everyone makes that mistake at times, even high rep users, I imagine.


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