Setting up Search Infrastructure – Part II

Some of the content appearing in these posts is taken from the SharePoint 2010 Search Evaluation Guide which can be downloaded from here.


This post covers the following –

  • Creating Authoritative Pages
  • Creating Federated Locations


Part I of this series is available here

Queries and Results Settings

The following step-by-step instructions will help you get started working with queries and results settings.

Creating Authoritative Pages

Many ingredients go in to the FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 Search Engine algorithm. They include: Contextual Relevance, Metadata Extraction, Automatic Language Detection, File Type Biasing, Click Distance, Anchor Text, URL Depth and URL Matching. When a user enters a search term into your SharePoint 2010 Search box and clicks search they are presented with a results page. A LOT goes into turning that innocent click into highly relevant results. The SharePoint 2010 Search Engine delivers highly relevant results because it has a robust search algorithm which decides how to rank the results. The search algorithm determines if a particular result (link) is on page 1 position 1 or on page 17, position 3. It’s the search algorithm that takes Contextual Relevance, Metadata Extraction, Automatic Language Detection, File Type Biasing, Click Distance, Anchor Text, URL Depth and URL Matching all into account in deciding how results rank.

Although it has served the Search Engine world well to NOT trust humans, the SharePoint 2010 Search allows you to at least influence one of the ingredients which help determine a pages rank in the form of Authoritative Pages. Authoritative Pages fall under the “Click Distance” ingredient. An Authoritative Page is a page which you have declared as, well…, somehow better than the rest. You can actually have as many Authoritative Pages as you need and at different levels of Authority. You are essentially saying that a page should be considered a better match for any given search term that qualifies it as a result candidate. Keep in mind this is merely one ingredient (or category) which is carefully scrutinized on the algorithm used for ranking results. Declaring an Authoritative Page does not guarantee it will rank well for every search term used (and it shouldn’t).

  1. In the Search Center, enter a search query (for example: SharePoint Deployment). Notice the position of a document in the search results.

  1. Copy the link to the document.
  2. In Central Administration, on the Quick Launch section of the FAST Query Search Service Application, in the Queries and Results section, click Authoritative Pages

  1. Add a new line and URL in the Most authoritative pages box.
  2. Add a new line and paste the URL in the Most Authoritative pages box and ensure that the Refresh Now checkbox is enabled. Click OK
  3. In the System Status section of the FAST Query SSA, you will see the value Computing Ranking displayed in the Background activity label. Wait for a minute or so for new rankings to be computed. When the computation is done, the value in the label will change to None.

  1. In Search Center, give the same query again and note the difference in the rank of the page in the result.



Creating Federated Locations

Federation is the concept of retrieving search results from multiple search providers, based on a single query performed by an information worker. For example, your organization might include federation with so that results are returned by SharePoint Server and for a given query.

  1. On the Quick Launch of the Search Service Application, in the Queries and Results section, click Federated Locations.
  2. Click Import Location and browse to the YouTube.FLD (Federated location definition) file and click OK.
  3. Once the FLD file is successfully imported, click Edit Location.
  4. In the Edit Federated Location Page, notice that the information from the FLD file has been extracted. Go to the Trigger section. Since we want to federate the search to YouTube only if the search query matches the following pattern “video Harley Davidson”, enable the Prefix radio button and enter video in the textbox.

  1. Browse to your Search Center site. In the search box, type a search term and press [ENTER] to get the Search Results page.
  2. Edit the Search Results Page. In the Right Zone, add the Federated Results web part from the Search category.

  1. Edit the Web Part and in the properties pane for the Web Part, in the Location section drop-down list, click YouTube, and then click OK.
  2. On the ribbon, click Save and Close.
  3. Enter a search query with the video prefix and you should see results from YouTube appearing in your search results.


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