I have 2 test sites with almost identical setup (sp online) - the search works on one and not the other. Both have a term store with a hierarchy that looks like

  • Staffing

    -- Recruitment

    -- -- Policy

Both have a document library with an extra managed metadata column “metacol” linked to their respective Managed Term sets.

Both sites have a page “Recuitment” with a “Search Results” web part, where I’ve set the query to :

path:"https://myCompany.sharepoint.com/sites/Ops" owstaxIdMeta:#c8c89773-dc21-4b1d-b022-2d62f58a6127 (FileExtension:doc OR FileExtension:docx OR FileExtension:xls OR FileExtension:xlsx OR FileExtension:ppt OR FileExtension:pptx OR FileExtension:pdf) (IsDocument:"True" OR contentclass:"STS_ListItem")

Where “c8c89773-dc21-4b1d-b022-2d62f58a6127” is the id for the “Recruitment” term. ( there is a different id for the recruitment term in the other term set). The search works and returns documents tagged with Recruitment or Policy on one site and not the other?

As far as I can tell there are no significant differences between the sites, and I’ve reindexed both. The only difference I know of is that the working site was originally set up with “Managed Navigation” using the term set, while the non working site used Structural navigation.

These were both just prototype sites, and I need to know what’s gone wrong with the search before I can move forward to build the real sites?

  • If your column internal name is "metacol", then How the managed property name is "owstaxIdMeta" it must be simething like "metacolOWSCHCS" and ( metacolOWSCHCS:"Recruitment" should work)If I'm not wrong, and there should be a crawled property get created "ows_metacol". Sep 15, 2015 at 13:52
  • I've noticed a couple of things - creating the meta column before enabling the metadata navigation settings might stop it ever working. It's always the first term set that I can't get to work. After playing around I got desperate and added a new term set on a new column - it works fine. So it looks like the order for enabling things is important somehow. Sep 23, 2015 at 9:04
  • Also - I've enforced checking in the documents on the site, and they don't show up until I check in a major version. ie publish them rather than just have a draft version Sep 23, 2015 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


Did you create two different termsets with the same name (and terms)? If you did then the behavior is normal. Each term (and termset) has it's own unique id. Since you created 2 termsets 'recruitement' each will have it's own unique id's.

I would create one 'global' termset that is available for all sites and let the the columns in both sites point to the same termset.

And other solution is change conguration in the 'Search Schema'. Search creates a 'managed property' for each item (column) you can search on. In your case it is called 'owstaxIdMeta'.

You basically map the two 'crawled properties' to one 'Managed Property' (owstaxIdMeta). You use the managed property to search. Since you are using the online version it can take a few hours before changes in your search configuration are visible.

  1. SharePoint admin -> Search
  2. Go to 'Manage Search schema'
  3. Find a 'Managed Property' with the name 'owstaxIdMeta'
  4. Edit this Managed Properties
  5. On the edit/detail page at the bottom you can map multiple 'Crawled Properties' to this (owstaxIdMeta) 'Managed Property'
  6. Add the crawled property of the second site as well
  7. Save
  8. Wait for a crawl to finish. (can take a few hours)
  9. Test again
  • Thanks for helping, I have got two term sets - but only because I have two prototypes for the final site. In the queries i have used the unique id for the respective sites term sets - so that's not the issue Sep 15, 2015 at 13:31

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