Discuss how does SharePoint keyword search works

SharePoint search keyword
19 Dec 2019

SharePoint keyword search query results looks different for different users. In this blog, we are going to discuss how does SharePoint Keyword Search works.

This blog is based on two important observation, which was commonly made:

Observation 1: How does Out of the Box Search works? Where no customization is done that would alter the search results.
Observation 2: Describes the behavior of the Search box, which is in the upper-right-hand corner of every site. Searches are based on Intelligence-based search and they work differently. For example, if you search for content from any other part of Office 365 (i.e. SharePoint Home or OneDrive, Delve) you will experience the above search method.

search everything

Types of content searched

Any content, which meets the requirement, is searched, such as documents, files, folders, contacts, events, tasks, pages, web parts or complete sites.


SharePoint search security

With the documents

The Keyword or phrase typed to search is matched with the file name in documents. It will also search inside of the file, mainly in PDF and MS Office File such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.


There are different situations, where search results differ depending on where you are searching:

Situation 1: Search from any site in SharePoint

  • When you initiate a search from any site with the exception of default site collection root/top site, it will shows the results from the site you have initiated from and all of the subsites below.

results found in portal

SharePoint portal dropdown

  • Once the above mentioned search is displayed, on the same page it gives an option of expanding the search to Everything. Select Everything to perform search for the same keyword but in the Whole SharePoint.


Situation 2: When a search is done from custom site collection

  • When you initiate a search from any custom site collection, it operates as mentioned above.
  • If a search is performed from the root, of your custom site collection, you will be displayed with the whole site collection you are in.
  • Similarly, result is defaulted, but you will get an option of performing globally.

Situation 3: When a search is performed from the root of a default site collection

  • If a search is performed from the root of your default site collection, it acts little different.
  • When a search is performed from that site, search result shows up ALL site collections and subsites by default. To do that you should default it to “Everything” without an additional selection.
Categories: SharePoint

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *