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Popular searches

This is a very common request: “How do I show the most popular searches in a widget or on a page?” Relevanssi does not have such a feature built in, and the reason for that is twofold:

First, on many sites, the most common searches are either spam or boring. On this site, I use the Relevanssi spam block tool to reduce the number of search spam. Thanks to that the top searches are not Chinese spam domains. Now the top 5 searches in the last 30 days are search, download, download/page, download/2/page, and download/2/2/page. Super interesting!

Second, displaying the most common searches allows a malicious party to influence that. They can spam the same search over and over again until it reaches the top. On a big site that takes a while, but on this site, for example, it wouldn’t take more than couple of minutes. I wouldn’t want that.

So, for these two reasons Relevanssi doesn’t ship with a “popular searches” widget. Creating one in itself would not be difficult. This code snippet, for example, creates a very simple popularsearches shortcode. The shortcode will display the five most common search terms.

  function() {
    global $wpdb, $relevanssi_variables;
    $table            = $relevanssi_variables['log_table'];
    $popular_searches = $wpdb->get_col( "SELECT query FROM $table GROUP BY query ORDER BY COUNT(*) DESC LIMIT 5" );

    return '<ul><li>' . implode( '</li><li>', $popular_searches ) . '</li>';

In production, this should have some kind of a profanity filter. You’d also want to put in place some kind of method where you would not log repeated identical queries at all. Use with care and consider the problems.

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