SharePoint 2010's Search Center

SharePoint 2010 provides a site template that's built for delivering search results. You can use this template to create a branded search experience or to customize how results appear. You can choose among three search center site templates:

  • Basic Search Center delivers a stripped down search experience in one page. This site template uses Web Part pages and is essentially a team site specialized for search.

  • Enterprise Search Center provides multiple pages for displaying search results. This site template uses publishing pages, which make it easier to brand and customize than Basic Search Center.

  • FAST Search Center is used with the add-on search product FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 to provide enhanced search results. Very large enterprises use the FAST search product. Any search solutions you create with SharePoint 2010’s default search options continue to work even if your company chooses to deploy FAST.

You can create a new site using one of the search center templates. To configure your site collection to use your search center site, enter the relative URL to your search center in the Search Settings page. Anytime someone executes a search on your site, she's directed to the search results site.

Your search center doesn’t have to be in the same site collection. You can create a new site collection using one of the search center templates and then configure multiple site collections to use that same search center.

Individual search boxes found on the master page, in page layouts, or placed directly on web pages can be configured to use the default settings or have their own custom settings.

The meat and potatoes of the search experience aren’t the search center; it’s the Search Web Parts that are used to display search results. These Web Parts can be configured to meet almost any search requirement you can dream up.

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This is the results page from the search center in Edit mode. The page has seven Web Parts on the page, each one with its own set of configuration options. Don’t want your results page to include People Matches? Delete that Web Part from the page.

You aren’t restricted to using the Search Web Parts in the search center. You can create your own search results page and add the Search Web Parts to the page.

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