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Cross-site publishing seems like the best way to set up a news site for our intranet. I followed a couple of blog posts that explain how to set up an authoring site using a product catalog site template and connect them to a publishing site. Everything looks great on the publishing site, except if I "Search this site" for content that I can see on the publishing site, I get no results.

We worked with a Microsoft engineer who replicated the issue and agreed that it seemed like this was a limitation of the cross-site publishing feature. Are we doing something wrong? Obviously the content is indexed because I can see it on the publishing site's catalog and catalog-item pages. But then why wouldn't it show up when I search that site? I realize that the content doesn't physically live on that site, but the whole point of cross-site publishing is so it doesn't have to.

  • I too was following that blog post. I'm with you Josh. There is [almost] no point to having a cross-site publishing solution if the content isn't included in the search results at the publishing end. It is strange that the linked catalog is created as a search result source in the publishing site. I've found tutorials that suggest creating a custom results search page. Haven't been able to figure that out yet, but I'm going to give it a try. – Rothrock May 28 '14 at 19:38
  • I have a site with a url ending in cat that is my catalog site and one ending in pub that is my publishing site. I went into the result sources for my site and created a new source. I used the default local site query transform of {?{searchTerms} -ContentClass=urn:content-class:SPSPeople} oddly enough when I launched the query builder and went to the testing tab, put in a term that is both on my site and in the remote catalog, and in the search result preview I saw results that had both pub and cat. So the default query transform is finding all the items. Something else is discarding t – Rothrock May 29 '14 at 22:32
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I'm working on addressing this challenge myself and I share your frustration, though I think I understand why it works this way OOB.

The content being rendered in CSWPs isn't actually "within the page" in the publishing site - it is all being retrieved and rendered client-side through Javascript. Basically, I think the limitation is fundamentally that the SP search crawler isn't looking at the page as it will appear client-side (where the JS has been executed and the CSWP content exists), but rather the page as it does appear server-side (where the JS hasn't been executed and the CSWP content doesn't exist).

I can actually see this being a benefit when CSWP is showing the same results on multiple pages in a "secondary content" ("related items") type scenario, but it's definitely a drawback when using CSWP to render what is effectively the "primary content" on a page.

I'm as concerned (if not more concerned) about public crawlers (Bing, Google, etc.) not being able to read the content within the CSWPs, as I am about SP's own internal search.

I think I understand that the CSWP detects when a public search crawler hits the page and automatically renders the content server-side, which means the crawler should see the CSWP content as "part and parcel of the page" ?...? Wonder if there is a way to force SP search to "see" the site collection in the same way or perhaps, inversely, configure the site collection to treat SP search like it does public crawlers?

Anyway, I'm looking at a couple of (time consuming) options, wondering if you or anyone have tried any of them before I make the investment of energy:

Worst case, unfortunately... I guess...

  • Actually putting the content in "real pages" on the publishing site. This will, unfortunately, mean opening up (some degree of) write access to the publishing site to nearly two hundred people, rather than the half dozen we were aiming for by leveraging XSP. This will address the search visibility issue.
  • Optionally: Continuing to use the XSP catalog as a metadata index of those "real pages" and continuing to leverage CSWP for "content reuse" capabilities.

Sorry this isn't much of an answer, but I'm still trying to get enough karma to comment :)

Hope all is well, Nick

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So your content is on one site collection and you are searching from another site collection. Right? "Search this site" limits the scope of the search to the current site collection, so none of the content from the other site collection will be included. Sounds like it is working correctly.

When you search "Everything" do you get the results you expect?

  • I understand that the scope is limited, but the whole point of cross-site publishing using a catalog connection is so that content can be authored in one site with restricted access and published on a different site. Searching for "Everything" pulls up results in the source catalog site if you are an author, but not for end-users. So that's also "broken" as far as I can tell. Could you imagine going to Amazon.com and NOT getting any results when you search their site? This is the UX that we are seeing. It seems like a gross oversight on Microsoft's part. – Josh McCarty Apr 28 '14 at 16:46
  • I work mostly in Search and not cross site publishing. Off the top of my head I would look at managing the Search user experience through your pages so that you get the results that you want. Which probably means creating Display Templates to serve up the content from the current site. Are you Crawling the site or just the catalog? – Matthew McDermott Apr 28 '14 at 18:13
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Modify search properties:

  • Modify the managed properties settings so that users of cross-site publishing can query for and refine on properties in the catalog.
  • Before you can modify the properties, the catalog items must be approved and crawled.
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The Solution I'm working on contains two separate catalogs in the same Product Catalog site. What I didn't realize is that you have to make sure your items are all Approved before they'll appear in the search results.

This isn't identified well in the walkthroughs I've read. I guess it's a no brainer when you think about it, but when you're flying through a test to prove out the concept...

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