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Managing the Search Experience in Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Defining Authoritative Pages

Search results relevance settings can be managed through the authoritative pages in the search service. The relationship of individual documents or content items to authoritative pages is defined in terms of click distance. Click distance is not based on URL depth. If all other ranking elements are equal, the more clicks that are required to traverse from the authoritative page to the content item, the less relevant that item is for a given query. Placing a link to an object on an authoritative page elevates that object in search results, with no regard to the actual location of the object.

Your farm will have some locations that contain official, approved content for your organization. These locations are the URLs you should enter into the Authoritative Web Pages input boxes, which are shown in Figure 9-1.

Figure 9-1

Figure 9-1 The Authoritative Web Pages input boxes.

You can achieve levels of granularity by entering primary, secondary, and tertiary URLs, thereby formulating an overall hierarchical relevance topology for your search application. URLs within the same input box are grouped equally, meaning that there is no hierarchical order implied by the URL list. In addition, wildcards, such as http:foo/*, are not accepted in these boxes.

You can also insert file shares as authoritative page sources. Use the file:// protocol scheme when defining file systems. For example, file://fileserver1/archive specifies the archive file share as an authoritative location.

You can also set some sites to be the lowest on the relevance scale by placing their URLs in the Sites To Demote input box, which is shown in Figure 9-2. You should consider the resource implications of recalculating the ranking of your indexes immediately rather than recalculating them during normal schedules.

Figure 9-2

Figure 9-2 The Non-authoritative Sites input boxes.

To set relevance settings, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Administration page for your search service.

  2. In the Quick Launch area, click the Specify Authoritative Pages link under the Queries And Results heading.

  3. Input the URLs in the appropriate boxes as required to configure relevance settings for your environment.

  4. Select the Refresh Now check box if you want to have the relevance settings recomputed immediately.

  5. Click OK.