Search Engine Query in WordPress


I found this trolling the newly released plugins yesterday.   I wasn’t sure exactly what it did at first.   It sounded a lot like the Landing Pages plugin which I still like and have active on all the blogs.

This little plugin with the not so exciting name is EXCITING!   Search Engine Query in WordPress is what it says, but let’s face it this isn’t an exciting name.

Setting up Search Engine Query

  • Download and activate the plugin
  • Go to Widgets and add the widget to your sidebar
  • Open to edit.   You can change the Title I used Related Search Results and then number of results returned
  • That is all there is to it

The Active Plugin is Dynamic

What do I mean by dynamic?   If it is needed it shows up, but if it isn’t, it doesn’t.   This is why you can put it right at the top of your widget list for the sidebar.   I LOVE THIS FEATURE.

Keep Readers Reading, Searchers Finding

Most people come to our blogs while doing searches.   We also know that many times when we do rank high for a certain search, the result isn’t the most relevant.   This plugin gives them a quick easy way to find it.   Here is an example of how it works.

Extreme Home Makeover Tucson

I’m covering this event all week.   It means I’m writing a series of posts with very similar titles.   People are searching for lots of different things about the event and using a lot of different search queries with combinations of words all across the spectrum.

This plugin searches your WordPress database to return results with similar or the same words as in the search.   Since it is dynamic it will pop right to the top and show those Related Results.   But navigate away from the initial page and the plugin goes away.   Come directly to the home page it doesn’t show up.   It is only there when Readers arrive by a search.   But if you are clicking other related search results it keep showing up as the reader moves from post to post.

If they click “Home” it goes away.

If there isn’t another related Title in the search results it will show the last 5 (or however many you have set) post in the same Category as this post.

Screen shot:

Shows Relates Search Results

Search Engine Query in WordPress I LOVE THIS PLUGIN

Did I mention I love this plugin

What a great way to provide a better experience for your readers and those searching for content on your site.

This plugin does two very good things.

  1. It will slow your bounce rate by providing search results inside a returned search
  2. It will keep readers on your site longer by providing obvious related content
  3. It will increase your page views.

You can pick which one in the list isn’t “very good”.

Search Engine Query in WordPress.   It is the kind of title that can make you pass it by.   DON’T this is one KILLER Plugin.


  1. Hahahaha thanks, I didn’t really know how to call it and in the end came up with that odd name 😛

    devu ´s last blog post..WordPress Search Engine Optimization: link building

  2. Dave,

    While your WP recommendations are always home-runs, this one is a grand slam! This is simply an AMAZING plug-in. As you maneuver from post to post, it constantly mines your blog for related information.

    If you’re interested in making your blog more “sticky” you cannot live without this plug-in….as you already stated.

    Thanks for passing along that nugget!


    Chuck Gillooley ´s last blog post..San Carlos home sales already falling behind 2008 pace…

  3. @daveintucson dave i’m gonna check it out – you never miss with your endorsements!

  4. Dave, if you have a minute will you take a look at my site and let me know if this plug in will work for me. I am fairly new to the blog and seo stuff. I have been wondering what I do with my blog in regards to wordpress etc… o I sign up for word press or what? The widget looks fantastic but I’m so new it’s scary for me to try. If anyone has a chance and some advice, I sure would love the help. on this widget and my homepage blog in general.

    PS Congrats on covering the Home Makeover Tuscon Edition. Sounds exciting. Great coverage too.

  5. @Todd Covington – Todd, It should work fine.

    Are you using widgets to populate your sidebar? If so put this widget at the top and title it “Related Search Results”.

    Let me know when it is in place and I’ll check it out. You can do the same by activate the plugin, then click on any post it should appear at the top of the navigation.


  6. awesome reconmendation. I love wordpress and how easy it is to use. We are in the process of switching most of our sites over

  7. House Insurance Quotes says

    I love the fact that it follows you around throughout the site. This plugin would work especially well for an e Commerce blog where you could have related products. I recently stumbled across the WP-e Commerce plugin from “Instinct Entertainment” it is supposedly a full shopping cart solution. Not sure if it has this kind of useful feature though.

  8. That is a great plugin. Thanks for passing it along Dave!

    Brandon ´s last blog post..1824 11th St NW – Great U Street corridor location

  9. Dave ~ I have seen the results of this plugin before, but I never realized how people did it. I figured they were all just skilled in php. How is this different than your “related posts” plugin at the bottom of each post?

    Ryan Martin ´s last blog post..Real Estate Bellingham Washington

  10. Hey Ryan,

    I think the links you see at the bottom of each post are probably a different php function (or a different plug-in.) They are also very effective at keeping readers on your site.

    The beauty of the plug-in that Dave found was the dynamic nature of it — it only appears if it “knows” what you might be searching for. If you’ve just landed on the home page by direct link, it won’t appear. As soon as you click on something, it brings up VERY relative links, thereby keeping readers on the site.

    It’s easily one of the 3 most important plug-ins that I have ever used.


    Chuck Gillooley ´s last blog post..UPDATE: Wheeler Plaza Development…

  11. @Ryan Martin – Chuck is absolutely right. Thanks Chuck. I couldn’t have explained it better.

    Just home from the last all day at Extreme Makeover Tucson. Glad the bus driver moved the bus today. Ready to get back to a normal “LOL” life.


  12. Right on guys. I appreciate the feedback. I think that I will check out both plug-ins.

    I bet the Extreme Home Makeover was fun!

    Ryan Martin ´s last blog post..Bellingham Washington Foreclosure List

  13. What a cool find Dave. I’ll try this one out on our main site’s blog.

    Colleen ´s last blog post..The Rest Of The Story…

  14. Hmm, I tried installing the plugin here (right menu), but as you can see there is an error. I suspect the problem is my website as since the site is a templated site, I do not have access to the backend except for the CMS. This type of search query tool would be great for any website, not just a blog. I’ll try the plugin on our other blog, where I do have access where needed.

    Colleen ´s last blog post..The Rest Of The Story…

  15. @Colleen – Jay Thompson is getting the same error you are. Here is what was suggested for Jay to try:

    @Jay Thompson
    Thanks Jay. For a very fast fix replace in external.php line 44:




    Let me know if it works.

    You need FTP access to your site to try this. You would want to make a copy of the external.php file and make the changes to the copy, upload the changed file and see if it fixes the issue.

    Jay was installing it today so he hasn’t yet replied to the suggestion. You can see all the comments on the plugins page at:

  16. Dave,

    Have you (or anyone else on this thread) tried to install V 1.2 or 1.2.1 of this plug-in? I have three different sites, and they all coughed up a hairball when I tried to upgrade from 1.1.1.

    Thank goodness I kept a back-up copy of the older rev, so I could re-install this great plug-in. Anyone else seeing “fatal errors” on the upgrade?


    Chuck Gillooley ´s last blog post..The San Carlos Week In Review – 2/5/09…

  17. @Chuck Gillooley – I just upgraded after seeing your comment.

    I did an uninstall, upgrade by getting the new files and install activate.

    It works fine as you can see.


  18. Ok, tried the plugin on another blog, the blog in my signature link and still the same error. I’ll make sure I have the newest version then try the php modification. Dave, hope you are on Search Engine Query For WordPress’ payroll for your efforts. 🙂

    Colleen ´s last blog post..The Rest Of The Story…

  19. Colleen,

    Chuck also discovered you have to be running PHP 5 for the latest version to work. If you don’t have access to that part of your hosting I would suggest you drop down to an older version of the plugin. Till last night I was running 1.0.7 which should run on all your blogs without issue.

    I’ve heard that 1.1.1 was also working for most. You can download whatever version you want from the WordPress download page. Under the big red Download is FYI section click on “Other Versions” and pick the one you want to install.


  20. Hi everyone and thanks for using my plugin 🙂

    I’m working on that bug, it seems on some server the $_SERVER[“SCRIPT_URL”] variable is not available to wordpress and the external.php file can’t load the wp-config. While I work on this fix, you can just solve the error by changing external.php on line 46: require_once($inc_path.”wp-config.php”);

    If your wp-config.php file is in your wordpress root, just replace that line with this one:


    I’m sorry for the inconvenience

    devu ´s last blog post..WordPress Search Engine Optimization: how is it going?

  21. @devu – Thanks for the help. We love your plugin and we know it is a work in progress.

    I still think going back to version 1.1.1 will be the solution for those without FPT access or knowledge of editing the wp-config.php

    Thanks again for a great addition to WordPress plugins

  22. Dave,

    Upgrading to PHP 5 definitely solved the installation problem. Even the “auto-update” toggle on the WP plug-in page worked fine. Thanks for your help on this.

    You’re right about V1.1.1 though. That version seems to be very solid, and worked perfectly well for me with PHP 4. This is such a good plug-in that it’s far better to have an older revision in place than nothing at all!!

    Thanks for all of your help Dave!!

    Chuck Gillooley ´s last blog post..The San Carlos Week In Review – 2/5/09…

  23. I do not have access to the backend of my one blog, however, I do have access to the other. I’ve confirmed my server is using PHP 5.2.5

    I did a cursory search for the external.php file and cannot locate it. What directory does WordPress store the file in? FWIW, I’m using WP 2.7

    Colleen ´s last blog post..The Rest Of The Story…

  24. @Colleen – It is in the search engine query directory under wp-content/plugins

    You could just drop back to version 1.1.1 for both blogs.

  25. @Dave Smith – I’m throwing in the towel on this one. I uninstalled the newest version, then reinstalled version 1.1.1 then activated it. Once activated, the plugin deactivated all my widgets! Once I deactivated Search Engine Query, my widgets returned! Weird.

    I think there might too many bugs in the plugin for the novice like myself. I see the plugin working fine for you Dave.

    I’ll stay subscribed to this thread and perhaps once the bugs are worked out I’ll give it another go. Thanks for you help in this Dave! 🙂

    Colleen ´s last blog post..The Rest Of The Story…

  26. thanks for the tip on this one..looks like a worthy addition to our site…going to give a try asap…
    .-= coastal reo solutions, myrtle beach´s last blog ..Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts Simplified =-.