Three primary features can be used to enhance the user experience. These are search scopes; properties assigned to content, stored during indexing, and mapped to managed properties made available for searches; and keywords defined by the search administrator, with their definitions, synonyms, and Best Bet sites.
This article introduces what these features are and why they exist; where and how the administrator adds and configures these features; and where and how search queries employ these features.
Scopes are properties assigned to content, stored during indexing, and mapped to managed properties made available for searches. The search service administrator defines the default scopes which can be used by the entire site collection. Site collection administrators add and modify scopes, add scope display groups, and choose and arrange scopes within them.
Web site owners, who have Designer or greater permissions, configure instances of the Search Box Web Part, and populate their scope lists by assigning alternate display groups to populate them. To configure the Search Box Web Part you use the Site Actions, Edit Page menu on the Search Center site page. For more information about using Web Parts, see the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Help.
Content creators assign property values to their content, including document titles, file names, and author. Web site owners manage shared libraries and lists that can also assign further properties to content. For example, libraries can provide defined content types that require content creators to assign values to properties in order to check in a document. Custom columns within document lists also assign property values to content.
To access the metadata properties feature, on the Search Administration page, under Query and Results, click Metadata properties.
The search service administrator runs the "crawler" to build the search index. The list of crawled properties represents all of the metadata properties that the crawler has discovered. Several crawled properties are mapped to managed properties by default. The search service administrator can add and modify these mappings.
It is those managed properties that can be selected in Advanced Search, or entered manually in the Search Web Part on most SharePoint pages, or in the Query Web Part on the Search Center site.
For more information about using metadata properties, see "Plan the end user search experience" on the site for Microsoft Search Server 2008 on TechNet.
Add keywords with Best Bets
Site collection administrators define keywords with Best Bets for use on their sites. Keywords provide definitions for common terms used within your organization. Each keyword also can include a list of synonyms, and the Web addresses (URLs) for several Best Bets sites with related content.
When a query includes a keyword or any of its synonyms, the definition for that keyword and its Best Bet sites (if any) are typically displayed prominently on the search results page, above the core search results. Keywords can be used to provide a working glossary of names and terms used within your organization. When configured with synonyms and Best Bets, keywords can also enhance search results by guiding users to recommended resources.
Best Bets can link to recommended Web sites, data stores, and documents that help to explain a keyword and expand upon its meaning. When a user includes a keyword or one of its synonyms in a query, the search results page features links to its associated Best Bets above the core results. You can use Best Bets to promote recommended sites and authoritative pages.
To access the keywords and Best Bets settings, on the Search Center site, click Site Actions, Site Settings, and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search keywords.