Opened 3 years ago

Closed 3 years ago

Last modified 3 years ago

#5771 closed task (blessed) (fixed)

Temporarily disable site-wide search on

Reported by: tellyworth's profile tellyworth Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: highest omg bbq
Component: Site Keywords:


Recently it has emerged that the global site search results as shown on contain paid ads. Currently we have no control over this. Red tape prevents the ads from simply being turned off.

Various long term solutions are being investigated. In the meantime, as a matter of urgency, I propose that we temporarily disable global search on and replace it with subsite-specific searches where local WordPress-managed search is available (e.g. for the plugin and theme directories).


  1. Immediately the Google site search code from /search/.
  2. Replace the /search/ page with a placeholder page directing users to content searches on various sub-sites (/plugins/search/foo, /themes/seach/foo,, etc)
  3. Tweak and limit search queries on sites like the support forums that currently can't run searches for performance reasons. (Limit queries to the last n posts, only search titles, etc)
  4. Remove redirects that currently hijack some search queries to the global page (e.g. /support/?s=foo -> /search/foo).

Note that this is a temporary measure which will be reverted once a better solution has been rolled out. Several different possible long-term solutions are being discussed elsewhere, but they could take some time to implement.

Attachments (1)

search-page.png (149.6 KB) - added by tellyworth 3 years ago.
Very rough example of a possible placeholder replacement for /search/

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (10)

3 years ago

Very rough example of a possible placeholder replacement for /search/

#1 @tellyworth
3 years ago

P.S. that screen mockup was hurriedly made under duress by a designer whose identity I have sworn never to reveal.

#2 @dd32
3 years ago

In 11025:

Support: Attempt to use bbPress/WordPress search for support forums.

This is kind of ugly and not perfect, this is just to get it out there.

Searches from Plugin/Theme subforums should be limited to that plugin/theme forum.
Searches for support threads (without plugin/themes) should be limited to not-plugin/theme/review forums.
Searches from homepage or where it says 'Documentation' should be limited to HelpHub articles/Pages.

This is temporary, and as a result, the urls are not super pretty, but should suffice for the immediate need.

SEe #5771.

#3 @dd32
3 years ago

In 11026:

Search: Ensure that all appropriate variables are predefined to cover all cases.

Follow up to [11025].
See #5771.

#4 @dd32
3 years ago

In 11027:

Search: Allow searching regular bbPress forums, not just plugin/theme variants.

See #5771.

#5 @chanthaboune
3 years ago

Hey team, thanks for working through a solution for this so quickly! I chatted through the pros/cons a bit with Matt and we've determined that having no search is really not ideal for users coming to the site, even on a temporary basis.

Instead, let's pay for ads to be removed (through Automattic) in the short term while we come up with a replacement. Let me know how I can help!

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta by tellyworth. View the logs.

3 years ago

#7 @tellyworth
3 years ago

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

Ads are now removed.

#8 @dd32
3 years ago

In 11083:

Support Forums: Revert to using the global system rather than using bbPress/WordPress search.

Reverts [11025], [11026], [11027].
See #5771.

#9 @dd32
3 years ago

In 11084:

Support Forums: Include the correct parameters when redirecting to the global search, so that Forum/Doc searches switch to the correct tab.

See #5771.

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