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Assuming 1 Web Application with multiple site collections, is it possible to configure search to isolate search results to each site collection? I only want results that pertain to the site collection from where the search is being conducted.


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If you only want search within the given site collection then I would think about configuring the search settings to remove the "All Sites" and "People" scopes so that the "This Site" scope is the default.

To answer your question though, you can add rules to your search-scopes to show only specific sites. You can point it to a single site, or point to a controlled list of sites. I've used this in the past for search scopes geared towards functions like a Help Desk where there are 4-5 sets of content across a few sites throughout the organization.

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