You must have been really fast moving stuff. Since no extra throttle was configured for moving you must have hit a default set by MediaWiki core. Keep on fighting.
About the keywords: I have now installed the UrlGetParameters extension to allow your approach work. However, the set query feature which works with templates should allow for a similar solution too. A searcher is indeed forwarded to special page Ask but the template view allows to also serve keywords which are again doing a set query. Thus the user does not really have to do anything than to hop from keyword to keyword and explore the different results.
Anyways, thanks for your effort and I am curious to see how it will work out.