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I am having trouble finding a recommended approach for the location of a search center in a SharePoint implementation with multiple site collections

I am using SharePoint 2013's best practice of using one web application and multiple host named sit collections within it.

I have an intranet site collection, teams site collection, a site collection for projects and one for my sites. The URLs will be intranet.domain.com, teams.domain.com, projects.domain.com and people.domain.com

Where should the location of a search center to search all content sit? I have considered creating another site collection to host it, or creating a search center in each site collection.

Any feedback on these approaches or perhaps another approach would be great!

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In 2010 there were 2 approaches that I'd recommend. Either way my preference was to implement only one "global" search center. You could provision a separate web application and search center (http://search) or you could implement the search center under you major web app (http://intranet/search). Then in each Site Collection configure the search settings to use the "global search center".

I have changed my tune a bit in 2013 due to the default behavior of the the site previews. By default there is a check for "same host" that will cause sites outside the search center host to fail to render. You can change this behavior by editing the default Site display template. But often I just recommend keeping the sites together under the same host.

Aside from these considerations I would say the fact that you are puting some thought into this topic means you are WAY ahead of the game.

  • Thanks for your feedback! Can you see any pros, besides the site previews, if we went with an approach that hosted the search under its own HNSC? search.domain.com – boondawg Nov 25 '13 at 0:36
  • One of the main Pros is consistency. No matter the approach I prefer a single top level search site. The 2013 Search approach is to Search at the list/library level, then the site (OWSSearch) and then the Global Search Center configured in the SSA. – Matthew McDermott Nov 26 '13 at 13:42
  • Ok. I will implement a new HNSC for the Search Centre. Thanks Matthew. – boondawg Dec 2 '13 at 0:08
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If you do not plan to customize the search center in any way based on the other site collections, there is really no need to have more than one. Also for example in the User Profile Service, you specify one specific search center that will be used by all My Sites.

I would create a single site collection for the search center

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