At the beginning I thought that each site collection have its own search, and that the search centre for each site collection will only search the contents within a site collection. But when I test this I can see that the search is based on the URLs of the other site collections. For example I have a web application with three site collections at the following URls:-

-   http://testapp/
-   http://testapp/sites/SC2
-   http://testapp/wiki/HR

now if I am at the http://testapp/ site collection and I do a search for specific word, I will get results from the other two site collections also at (http://testapp/sites/SC2 & http://testapp/wiki/HR ). While if I am inside the http://testapp/sites/SC2 and i search for specific word I will get content from the SC2 site collection only. So does this mean that the search will look into all the site collections that are under the current URL , and it is not related to site collection scope? Becuase both http://testapp/site/SC2 & http:testapp/wiki/HR are under the http://testapp in respect to URLs . can anyone advice if my understanding is correct ? Thanks

  • 2
    What i think you need to do firstly you need to create search center. Secondly, on every site collection you have created, under search setting, choose enable custom scope then you put url that linked to Search center and choose do not show scopes dropdown, and default to target result page.
    – Supermode
    Aug 25, 2014 at 4:10
  • 2
    Ensure in your content data source has "Start Address" with your sitecollection or web application that you want to return result from
    – Supermode
    Aug 25, 2014 at 4:16
  • @Supermode can you please explain ur points in more details ? and why i need to perform the actions you mentioned ?
    – John John
    Aug 26, 2014 at 0:13
  • I think @Supermode is referring to sp 2010. It wouldn't solve your problem anyway...
    – TigerBear
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:51

3 Answers 3


When you are testing Searching SharePoint it is vital that you look at the URL that is returning your search results. There is this "intermediate" search page "OSSSearch.aspx" that returns "Site Collection Scoped Results" (the scope that is selected when you choose to "Search this site").

When you are on that page you are seeing results from the site collection in the URL. (This is a hold over from SharePoint Foundation.)

You can either embrace the page as an intermediate step between List search and full Farm Search or you can direct the site collections to jump to a "Global Search Center" that you create and configure in Central Administration. You create the Search Center and the results will be from the entire farm (on the Everything vertical). Your users can then use the refiners to further tailor their results.

  • thanks for the reply, but still i can not understand why my search result will differ based on the site collection. For example if i am inside the "testapp" site collection the search will search the three site collections, while if i am inside the "testapp/sites/cs2" site collection and i do a search, then SharePoint will only search the current site collection? can anyone advice ?
    – John John
    Aug 26, 2014 at 0:29
  • I have not seen that behavior, generally it's List, Site Collection then Farm. You are describing Web Application scope. That is not common. Aug 26, 2014 at 12:56

Yea, unfortunately this seems to be buggy. Search cares about the starting url.

If youre on the site collection http://testapp/ and have a search 'Result Source' of "Path:{SiteCollection.URL}" then this translates to "everything that contains the path http://testapp/".... this includes http://testapp/sites/SC2. Likewise, Path={SiteCollection.URL}* would translate to "Everything that starts with http://testapp/".

The solution is to use a result source for your base site collection that excludes all of your managed paths. So a result source with the Query Transform "{searchTerms} Path:"http://testapp/" -Path:"http://testapp/sites"" should work.


Just another suggestion. if you want to return the same result across sitecollection or web applications. You might want to do this.

  1. You need to create a new web application then create a sitecollection with Enterprise search center template. Eg url like http://searchapplication.contoso.com/sites/Search/pages
  2. Then on every site collection, in the search setting. enable custom scope and put the url: http://searchapplication.contoso.com/sites/Search/pages
  3. Choose "do not show scope dropdown, and default to target search result page" option under section Site Collection Search Dropdown Mode in search setting
  4. In central admin, in search service application setting, add content source. In content source, in start addresses section. just put a web application url only. For example: http://collaborationApplication.contoso.com. This can contain more than one url depending on how many web application do you want the result from.

  5. Create a scope and specified the Contentsource. Eg.In rule, ContentSource="Your contentsource".

For configuring in 2013, here is how you modify the result source http://blogs.technet.com/b/mspfe/archive/2013/02/01/how-query-rules-and-result-sources-can-be-used-to-customize-search-results.aspx

  • 1
    Just a note, there is really no need to create a new web application for the search center. It is just a site collection Nov 5, 2014 at 6:06
  • Are you referring to SP 2010?
    – TigerBear
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:40
  • @punchingInAPepper, thanks. i missed the 2013 tag earlier.
    – Supermode
    Nov 5, 2014 at 23:27

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