[Mediawiki-l] viewing search terms

Daniel Barrett danb at VistaPrint.com
Fri Jul 8 20:02:33 UTC 2011

>Is there a way to view what people are searching for within MediaWiki?

There's no built-in feature, but you have a couple of choices:

1. Examine your webserver logs for hits on /wiki/Special:Search and look at the query string parameters, which include the search terms.

2. Create a wiki extension that captures and stores the search terms. Useful hooks are SpecialSearchResults, SpecialSearchNoResults, and SpecialSearchGo (in 1.17).

Before doing this, think VERY CAREFULLY about privacy. Search terms can reveal personal information, and users may see this as a serious privacy violation. For example, on a company wiki, suppose a boss sees that one of his employees has searched for "maternity leave policy". This reveals something private about the employee (that she is pregnant or planning to try), and it gives the boss an opportunity to discriminate against the employee for a promotion decision, which could lead to legal action, etc.  This is just one small example.


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