I have updated Search Meter, my WordPress plugin that lets you find out what your blog visitors have been searching for. The new version includes a couple of widgets to make it easy to display recent and popular searches on your blog, as well as a few other changes. Here are the details.
Search Meter 2.3 includes two WordPress widgets. Popular Searches shows a list of the most popular search terms that have produced hits at your site during the last 30 days, and Recent Searches shows a list of the most recent searches that produced hits at your site. Readers can click search terms in the list to search for the term themselves. Both widgets display up to 5 search terms by default, but you can change this to whatever number you like.
This version fixes a security hole in previous releases where it was theoretically possible for an unscrupulous website to trick you into deleting your saved search data. This was a pretty minor risk: the search data is transient anyway, and I have not heard of anyone even thinking of doing this, let alone actually managing to carry it out. Anyway, from Search Meter 2.3 the “attack” is no longer possible. Previous version are still vulnerable, so truly paranoid users should upgrade. And don’t forget to wear your tinfoil hat.
A polite suggestion
The Options and Statistics screens now include a button allowing convenient access to PayPal to make Search Meter donations. This is meant to be a gentle, unobtrusive suggestion rather than a blatant advertisement. There’s an option to turn it off if you don’t like it (or even better, if you have already made a donation).
Remember, donating is optional. You can donate nothing, or you can donate $1000 (yes, really) but Search Meter will work the same regardless.
I have made a number of changes to the internal workings of the Search Meter code, just to tidy things up a bit and make it easier for me to work with. This version also contains the installation bug fix from Search Meter 2.2, which I released quietly a few months ago. That problem was caused by a core change made in WordPress 2.2.1.
As always, go to the main Search Meter plugin page to see full details and to download Search Meter 2.3.