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I noticed the following and I want to know if it is by design.

Let's suppose you have your

portal.abc.com

as main site collection (root)

and other site collection that are named as

portal.abc.com/sites/xyz

portal.abc.com/sites/123

portal.abc.com/sites/finance

... ... ...

the feature "search this site" only works properly in the site collections xyz, 123 etc, when performed in the main root, the results of 'search this site' are the same as 'search everything'.

Same goes for the use of content search web part, even if you place as URL where to search the main root (portal.abc.com) the results given are from the whole content of the web application.

Is there something I can do about it to have the 'search this site' performed only on portal.abc.com and not the other /sites/... site collections?

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To limit search results to a particular site collection, you can create a new result source and use it in your search webpart. Here is a quick guide to implement it.

If you do not want to create a new result source, in your content search webpart switch to the advanced mode. You will see a Keyword filter and property filter. Here you can set the criteria to filter the search results -> In your case it can be the results "Path" not contains "portal.abc.com/sites"

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    so you are telling me that the behaviour I described is by design in virtue of the main root being a 'container' for the rest of the site collections? – susan Sep 19 '14 at 13:08
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    as far as i know, yes. You can take a look at this too. – Vipul Kelkar Sep 19 '14 at 13:13

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