While using the (speedy) search on SU and toying around with votes: and users: I quickly hit the wall:

You can only perform 6 searches within a minute, please wait a minute and then try again.

The speed of the search fell down from "pretty quick answers" to "zero", without any feedback. I understand the motivation behind that. But I do not have a stopwatch around to wait for the penalty. So, why not implement a simple timer which shows the user when search form actually works again?

It is also a bit unclear if ignoring the penalty increases the penalty, is that stated somewhere in the FAQ? Would be nice to have that directly on the pretty empty result page which shows the 'no more than 6 searches pro minute' statement.

(Sidenote: I was a bit surprised to see that someone with access to moderator tools is limited in how fast (s)he can search for a specific item...)

  • Interesting. I've never seen this error before, and I feel like I often run more than 6 searches in a minute. This sort of question might be better suited for Meta.SO since this is surely a network-wide setting. If you would like me to migrate it there for you, please let me know. It's probably more likely to get more views and a quicker response there.
    – nhinkle
    May 12, 2011 at 6:07
  • @nhinkle: yah, i thought about that as well, migrate it towards the more global place, please.
    – akira
    May 12, 2011 at 6:09
  • Well I just tested it, and indeed get the error, even as a ♦ moderator with full privileges. I'll be interested to see what is said about this.
    – nhinkle
    May 12, 2011 at 6:09
  • Also, related question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86784/…
    – nhinkle
    May 12, 2011 at 6:14
  • 3
    i can live with the penalty (though its a bit harsh for 'superusers', joke intended), but the main problem is the missing feedback "when am i allowed to search again".
    – akira
    May 12, 2011 at 6:15
  • 1
    (Some details at Please increase searches per minute, @nhinkle.)
    – Arjan
    May 12, 2011 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


In the next push the message will be a bit clearer:

You can only perform 6 searches within a 60 second window, please wait a moment and try again.

Note that paging/changing tabs also will not count and the timer is not sliding, it's 60 seconds from the first search, it doesn't reset the timer when you try again.

  • 3
    thats nice and shiney but it still lacks the feedback on "how long have i wait from when i see this message" ... the argument about how the penalty does not help the ui if it is triggered. textual "wait a moment" is too static for my taste.
    – akira
    May 12, 2011 at 17:07

Also a suggestion:
Show a link to query Google instead for the search.

Wrote a quick small Greasemonkey script to add the timer: https://github.com/Hello71/StackExchange---Timer-for-more-searches

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .