I Hate SharePoint Search Refiners.

By Nicholas Inglis posted 10-24-2011 20:57


(EDITS: See Michael Pisarek's comments and follow up blog post below. I think the post still has merit with values changed, although probably not at the top of the to-do list in implementation with proper configuration.)

SharePoint Search Refiner Confusion

Without FAST search you still have all of the refiners shown on your SharePoint search but they aren’t real. The refiners are only going to refine the first 50 500 search results for your query, the rest, they don’t matter, right? That’s insanity (Note, with FAST search you’ll be refining everything, not just the first 50 500 results – see comment below).

The reason we use the refiners is because our original search was probably a bad search (think “guy who founded Microsoft” as a search for Bill Gates). Refiners may help if you know the answer is in a particular file format, but chances are, you’re grasping at straws anyways.

Here’s my big issue with refiners, users have no idea that the refiners are refining just the first 50 500 results. If what they’re searching for is #51 #501 it doesn’t come up with the refiners, but instead of continuing on in their quest, they assume the content must not exist. That’s a bad thing. It could mean that an employee recreates content, makes a bad decision, or moves on without completing what they were working on.

So, search refiners without FAST… they’re bad. What is your strategy for combatting this if you’re not running FAST (do you have one)?

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