What do you think of taking this approach so that we can get more of a subject matter specific focus?
If followed strictly, such a policy would effectively kill the site: anything you can't google won't be found by folks who could benefit from answers.
What's your goal here?
In a completely unrelated post I pointed out that someone's question was a great question because:
To the extent that you would expect a Scrum Master to know what a "daily scrum" is, or a PMP to know what a project charter is, I think you could certainly define certain classes of question as too basic to be asked without some context showing why the question is on-topic.
On the other hand, using the fact that search results can be found on Google is not, ipso facto, sufficient to disqualify a question. I would certainly classify an easily-searchable question as having a smell, but I think there needs to be more than one axis in the metric.
Perhaps a better metric is whether the question shows a lack of research, or is asking for a complete and predigested tutorial. I will go so far as to suggest that a "failure to Google" is a prerequisite for both these conditions, but is not sufficient in itself to make the diagnosis.
To clarify what we mean when we say "If you can Google it, don't ask it here", here is an example closed question that falls squarely under this guideline:
Someone who claims to have 5 years experience -- see this question -- should be able to find this information on Google. At the very least, the asker could use that information as the basis for a more in-depth beginner question, and I suggested this as a starting point and even gave the asker a link to such material.
We welcome and embrace beginners but expect them to show that they're enthusiastic about the subject. We ask that users have done a little research before asking. Even spending 5 minutes reading about design documents may have given the asker the tools to edit his existing question and sculpt it into a much better beginner question.
With that said, our site scope is in a state of change, and we'll be keeping our eyes open looking for any problems early on so we can make adjustments as necessary.
If anyone sees or experiences any community issues as a result of this new guideline, please bring this up on meta as soon as possible, along with an example of the problem.