Another morning and much of the afternoon has been spent frustratingly trying to discover why, when the Popular Search Terms page (and some others) load with a left column, the column is visible – but completely empty. However, the Advanced Search page shows the left column content correctly. Irritating, no?
More by luck than judgement I have found a simple solution.
In the catalogsearch.xml file (found in app/design/frontend/default/yourtheme/layout) at the bottom of the page there is the following reference to the Search Term option:
<label>Popular Search Terms</label>
<block type="catalogsearch/term" name="seo.searchterm" template="catalogsearch/term.phtml"/>
All I did (more as a ‘hit-and-hope’ solution than anything) was comment out (or delete if you prefer) the following lines:
And what do you know? My left column content appeared on the Popular Terms page.