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Enhancements of Search Navigation between Site Collections

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconIn the the previous article Peter Kalmstrom, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, showed how to let users navigate between site collections with a SharePoint Search vertical, instead of linking. This navigation method is easy to scale, and users know how to search.

In the demos below Peter expands the earlier tutorial by suggesting a few enhancements to the Search Center.

Refinement web part

SharePoint Search Center RefinerThe Search Center has no Quick Launch to the left. Instead there is a Refinement web part that allows users to filter search results by certain criteria. Among the most commonly used refiners are Author, Modified and Object Type.

The image to the left shows the default refiners, but if you want to search for site collections neither SharePoint Site nor Web page is interesting to filter by. The search results will always show SharePoint sites and never web pages!

In the first demo below Peter shows how to change the refiners.
  1. Click on the Settings gear and select Edit page.
  2. Edit the Refinement web part.
  3. Click on the 'Choose Refiner' button.
  4. Add and/or Remove refiners in the dialog.
    You can also change their order. Click OK
  5. Click Apply and then Publish the page.

Peter has already given direct links to the most important site collections in the Search Results web part, but if you want them to look more appealing you can use promoted link tiles or a hotspot image. In the first demo below Peter shows quickly how to create promoted links, but two earlier demos show the process in more detail:

Sorting and display site collections

When the Sites vertical is selected the most important site collections are shown in the Search Results web part. In the first demo below Peter shows how to sort them, which he chooses to do by created date. He also explains why some site collections might not show up and shows what to do to display them.
  1. Click on the settings gear on top right and select 'Edit page'.
  2. Edit the Search Results web part and click on the Change query button.
  3. Under the Sorting tab, select the managed property you want to sort by. Peter selects 'Created'.
  4. Test the query under the Basics tab.
  5. Under the Settings tab Peter selects the radio button 'Don't remove duplicates' as it also removes similar site collections. Click OK
  6. Apply the changes and Publish the page.

In the last demo about enhancement of a Search navigation Peter shows how to create a hotspot image that links to site collections.

For more information about hotspot images, refer to these earlier tutorials:

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