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What are the differences between creating Search center as a subsite vs a new site collection? What are the benefits of creating it as as new site collection v.s a subsite.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Applies to both Enterprise and Basic Search Centers:

Search Centers should be separate site collections because they search for information across a company portal or division. If you create a Search Center as a sub-site, you might have to create some workarounds for a full customization.

Personally, choosing site collection over subsite will definitely provide you performance, simple url (managed path complexity) and greater freedom to manage and scale the service down the road, whereas sub-sites are generally more limiting.

Here is reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262410.aspx

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The reasoning is more of a logical nature: topologywise it will show content across farms or even beyond farms, hence it makes sense to give it its own site collection. Having a search center inside your existing Site Collection does not fill up any space, and it is easy enough to pull it out into a seperate site collection if need be. –  Anders Rask Feb 18 '12 at 12:21
    
thanks for the complementary comments! –  Falak Mahmood Feb 18 '12 at 14:23
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Addind a search center as site collection does have another benefit, (especially in combination with Fast): governance. To be able to add keywords, best bets, user contexts, a user needs site collection administration. You don;t want to give full site collection administrator rights to the user who just needs to manage those keywords, as he will have access to all data within that sitecollection. –  Bas Lijten Feb 19 '12 at 15:14
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