May 23, 2007

New Search Function At CQ

As many of you know, I have been working on some problems behind the scenes with script performance in Movable Type. Most of the issues have involved the comment script, although the central MT script has also created a few headaches over the past couple of weeks. During the two recent hosting moves, I upgraded the MT version from 3.2 to 3.35 to ensure that I have the most recent versions of these scripts running. Between that and some assistance from Hosting Matters on server allocation, we seem to have solved most of the problems.

One nagging problem remain, and it's a puzzler. The upgrade to 3.35 gave me access to an internal RSS feed on my activity log, and it revealed some odd traffic on my site. It seems that spammers like to run searches on their URLs on my blog, which explains why my search function slowed to a crawl and why that script was one of the ones locking up on the server. I have no idea why spammers want to run my search script over and over; maybe a CQ reader can explain it to me. All I knew was that I wanted to stop it.

Based on a tip, I decided to check out the Fast Search plugin for MT. It doesn't use the same scripting as the native MT search function, which should eliminate the spamming. It also does exactly what its name implies -- it makes searches on the blog lightning fast by adding a separate index table to the database. I've run several searches using this new interface, and it works extremely well, better than searches have ever run on the blog, even in the early days.

Hopefully, this will spell an end to the performance issues here at CQ. We're going to continue to keep a close eye on it.


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Comments (6)

Posted by trapeze | May 23, 2007 10:05 PM


Please, when you get a chance, return the option to skin the blog without Day By Day. I just don't care for it.

Thank you.

Posted by wolfwalker | May 23, 2007 10:08 PM


I have no idea why spammers want to run my search script over and over; maybe a CQ reader can explain it to me.

The first thought I had: are you sure it's spammers doing this? This could be a clumsy and primitive form of denial-of-service attack, the sort of thing that lefty script-kiddies might try in order to put your blog out of commission.

Posted by daytrader | May 23, 2007 11:06 PM

Another possibility is that the url search is to ensure that the posting spambot is checking to see if another bot has already done the job to eliminate duplications.

Posted by Light & Dark | May 24, 2007 3:53 AM

Generally, the useless spam search queries are the result of spambots simply hitting any cgi script they can find. They're expecting a comment script so what they post to a search script makes no sense, but they don't know that.

You'll likely continue to find the dynamic search system a huge improvement over the default version, especially in regards to server load. The default MT search has been seriously inadequate for a long time.


Posted by Pat | May 24, 2007 11:34 PM

Well, Captain, you are rapidly becoming an expert website techie. Good for you, and good for you readers. We will certainly give you aid and comfort through any problems!