I was browsing to see if there had been any Questions about taking precautions or defending against cougars. (There had been.) Questions about bears came up in the search -- that's reasonable. But this question about mayonnaise also came up. Mayonnaise? It didn't even talk about spoiled mayonnaise attracting cougars. How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country? I don't expect a serious answer to this, or a fix. I think it is funny. Computers aren't ready to take over yet!

  • So you're reporting a bug with the SE search algorithm? I don't really understand your question....
    – Erik
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 21:14
  • @Erik There is not much to understand. A search for cougars turns up mayonnaise. This is odd. Ignore it or tweak the search algorithm, whichever you prefer. As I said: "I don't expect a serious answer to this, or a fix. I think it is funny." Sorry if I have wasted people's time.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


I'm not trying to say you didn't get the results you got, or that you're wasting anyone's time. I just don't know what search terms you used to get your mayonnaise result.

I tried cougars and got 22 mayonnaise free results.

I tried precautions and I got 91 results. I scanned the first 50 and didn't see mayonnaise.

I tried cougar precautions and I got 1 mayonnaise free result.

I don't work for StackExchange/StackOverflow so I couldn't fix the problem even if I could reproduce it. I think if you give us the query/search terms you used then we could answer why mayonnaise was in the result set.

  • OK, I'll try for the mayonnaise again later today and report.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 12:50
  • I couldn't get the mayonnaise back -- I don't remember the exact wording of the test question I formulated to see if anyone had asked about cougars. I get geocaching, exploding rocks, shoelaces, igloos, less noisy Tyvek, and sandstorms, along with many other irrelevant Questions by asking "What should I do if I encounter a cougar?" or "What precautions should I take to avoid cougars" or "How can I protect myself against cougars?" The search engine seems to put major weight on "What" and "How" and minor weight on the actual subject of the query. Mayonnaise remains a mystery, but who cares?
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 20:54
  • 1
    @ab2 That is basically what I was expecting. It was probably keying on a common word as a search term. Searching with key terms instead of questions will probably give you better results in most search engines.
    – Erik
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 20:57
  • mayonnaise free results LOL
    – user2766
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 16:54

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