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We have a dilemma with our implementation of Search Center. I am sure I am not alone with this. Basically, in some site 3 levels deep on one web app the search redirects them to the search center at a different web app. The user finds what they want then wants to go back to the site they started at. But they can't there isn't a breadcrumb back to the originating site.

What have others done to workaround this problem?

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The reason you are "loosing" your navigation is due to the master page being used by default in SharePoint search center (in 2010) - the minimal.master.

Practically, you would have several options to fix this as describe already on the web, but 2 most used:

  1. On the Search Center, apply your current master page, which would require you to re-create the Search Pages (both the search box and search results), using a compatible layout, by placing required web parts.
  2. Update the actual page layout of the search page to become compatibile with the v4.master, as many explain (e.g. Randy Drisgill http://blog.drisgill.com/2013/04/sharepoint-2013-standard-search-center-branding.html) - customizing either the Page Layout (Enterprise search center) or the web part page (for the Simple Search Center)
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I mentioned the Search Center is on a different web app. But even if it wasn't the master page wouldn't change anything. When you execute the search you get transferred to a new site. Getting back to your original location is our issue. –  suluger May 6 '13 at 21:06
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Yes, got that, i'm simply explaining your options. the simplest being to change the minimal.master to include a LinkButton to ~site, or manually insert the navigational controls, because by default, none are present. –  C. Marius - MVP May 8 '13 at 22:12
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