Would a larger search button help any with the massive amounts of duplicated questions? My cynical side says probably not, but maybe there's some combination of colors, size, and placement that will make it more likely to be used.
What I used to do (when I had time to actually talk about java) was to do the search for the person and then say "I click the search button (above) and came up with these hits. I hope this helps." Folks then learn that they can get a more instant response by clicking on the search themselves.