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I've been trying to find an answer, but no luck on this issue yet - For reference, we use SharePoint Online (G3).

We have a custom list that serves as a complaint tracking log. When we use the built-in search box for a keyword, it returns a set of results. If we export the entire list to Excel and do a search on the keyword, it returns totally different results. The ones in Excel, all look correct - the ones in SharePoint look halfway random (some of them don't even HAVE the keyword).

We have our system set to crawl every hour, and the items that are missing from the results are not new. How do I ensure that the results are consistent?

Thanks for any advice!

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The main difference between the list and excel lies in the search schema and ranking system.

Microsoft defines this way.

The search schema controls what you can search for, how you can search it, and how you can present the results on your search websites. By changing the search schema, you can customize the search experience in SharePoint Online.

For example in your list , you will have all the list columns that will have crawled properties and then it will have managed properties too.

Where in in the excel all those values would only grouped together and then it might be in different crawled properties and would be only used for recall in the search.

Reference: Manage Search Schema

Create Managed Property in SharePoint Online

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