I have a site which is being indexed by the search engine. For some reason, it's not returning search results for my custom lists and I don't understand why it doesn't. The site is created as a host header site collection, based on my own template. In the template, I have a few list definitions which are created fine and all work ok. The content types in the lists are also custom. I can search on the site, which returns results, but never from the custom lists.

The things I checked:

  • The lists aren't set to be excluded from search results
  • The query crawl account has access to the site and to the lists / items
  • There are no exlusion rules
  • The user has access to the lists so there's no security trimming
  • The crawl log contains no errors
  • The crawl log also doesn't contain any success records for these URLs, the lists just don't appear in the crawl log whatsoever

I'm kind of clueless on where to look. Anyone ever seen this behaviour before?

Update We found out what the bleep is going on. The lists are used and displayed on the site (in webparts), but the instances themselves are hidden. We did this to prevent them from showing up in the "All site contents" form, the user sees information from the lists but can't click to get to the actual lists.

Apparantly, search won't find hidden lists when it crawls a site. I read somewhere that it will keep on indexing your list when it's in the index (since access is not restricted), but that it needs to be visible to get into the index.

So unhiding the list seems to solve the problem, but you need to know that users can then find your list (which they would through search as well, so it kind of makes sense).

  • These are custom columns? Have you added a metadata property? Tried a full crawl?
    – Kit Menke
    Apr 25, 2012 at 15:24
  • Not all of them. And you cannot add metadata properties untill the item have been crawled. So since there's nothing being crawled, I can't add any properties either.
    – Jasper
    Apr 26, 2012 at 7:36

2 Answers 2


Did you also check whether the Content Sources in the SP-CA, Search SA has the URL of your site in its list?

  • Yes I did, and since other content on the same site is being crawled, it would have been kind of weird if it wasn't.
    – Jasper
    Apr 25, 2012 at 13:47

I wrote a blogpost which might help others in the future: http://blog.repsaj.nl/index.php/2012/04/sp2010-why-are-my-list-items-not-indexed/

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