A useful thing to have during a search-first migration from legacy file servers is a way to distinguish content remaining from content in Sharepoint.

Is there a reason to prefer search verticals vs refiners in this case? Is one easier to implement than the other?

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I think it really depends on your audience and their previous experience with your search center. You could create a vertical for "Legacy Content" (essentially a Result Source filtering on the old content) this is VERY easy to implement. Refinement is a bit more of a challenge as Refiners are based on a Managed Property that the results would have in common.

I don't know what your requirements are but Verticals are way easier to implement than refiners, particularly if you don't have a common managed property to refine on.

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