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Configuring Search Center with Web Analytics in SharePoint

Posted By:Jean Paul       Posted Date: July 31, 2013    Points: 200    Category: SharePoint    URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com  

In this scenario we are exploring a Search Center site with Web Analytics.

In this scenario we are exploring a Search Center site with Web Analytics.


Your customer wanted to have a Search Page that allows searching and displaying of recent search queries.


Search Center site template can be used to address the searching use case.  Web Analytics feature of SharePoint can be used to display the recent search queries in the page.

What is Search Center?

A Search Center provides an interface for users to submit search queries.  It is having more user controls than the normal Search box in each site.
We can create a Search Center site by using the Site Actions > New Site > Choose Search Center template.


What are the other Search Site Templates?

Following are the Search Site Templates available in SharePoint 2010:
·  Basic Search Center
·  Enterprise Search Center
·  FAST Search Center

The Enterprise Search Center template contains additional tables and links than the Basic Search Center template.  The Publishing feature has to be enabling for using this template.
The Basic Search Center is the base version with a query box, Advanced and Properties link.  We are going to explore this version here.

The FAST Search Center enables FAST Search which provides high end enterprise search.  Some of the highlighted features of FAST Search are:
1.  Boolean search syntax through AND, OR keywords
2.  Automatic suggestions while typing keyword
3.  Integration to Windows 7 search
4.  More controlled search on document, type, managed metadata
5.  Improved search results through context relevance
Note: FAST Search was developed by company named FAST Search & Transfer which was acquired by Microsoft in year 2008. 

What is Web Analytics?

Web Analytics represent a set of infrastructure that will collect, report and analyze the usage and effectiveness of SharePoint 2010 deployment.
Web Analytics Reports include:
·  Traffic Reports
·  Search Reports
·  Inventory Reports
The traffic reports capture user behavior information related to total clicks, frequent users, popular pages, and information about navigation.

The search reports capture user behavior information related to the queries on a site that is using a configured search service application.

The inventory reports are targeted to help site administrators manage a site by keeping track of the site structure and storage and version issues.

How to configure Web Analytics?

We can enable Web Analytics through:
1.  Activating Web Analytics feature
2.  Using Web Analytics Web Part
To activate Web Analytics open the Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection feature.
Find the item Advanced Web Analytics and click the Activate button.

This feature will enable the reports, workflows, web parts associated with Web Analytics.

Create Search Center Site

Now we can proceed with creating the Search Center site.  Please navigate to your Top Level site and choose Site Actions > New Site.
From the appearing dialog box choose the Search category and select Basic Search Center.

Enter the Title, Url for the site and click the Create button.  Now you will be ready with the Search site as shown below:


If you wish you may create a Navigation link to this site in the top level site.

Add Web Analytics Web Part

Now we can try inserting the Web Analytics web part into our Search site.  I believe you have already activated the Advanced Web Analytics feature.
Open our Search site and click the Edit Page menu item.


Open our Search site and click the Edit Page menu item.  In the Edit mode from the Bottom Zone, click the Add a Web part button.

From the appearing Insert Web Part page, choose Content Rollup category from the left pane and Web Analytics Web Part from the right pane.  Click the Add button to add web part.

You can Stop edit mode using the Stop Editing button.
Now the Web Analytics web part is added and it will show some entries similar to shown below.

Configure Web Analytics Web Part

We need to configure the Web Analytics web part to display search queries.  The property we are going to change is Information to Display.

Information to Display

There are 3 types of Information displayed by the Web Analytics web part.
1.  Most Viewed Content displays the most viewed content urls.  This is the default option.
2.  Most Frequent Site Search Queries displays the most frequent Site Search queries.
3.  Most Frequent Search Center Queries displays the most frequent Search queries from the Search Center site.

Edit the Web Part

You can edit the Web Part and set the Information to Display property to Most Frequent Site Search Queries as shown below.

After making the changes click the OK button to save web part changes.
Now your Search Center site is ready with recent queries Web Analytics displayed.  You can try doing some search and see the entries in our Web Analytics web part.


You can even control the Period of Results for Web Analytics Web Part.
Currently it is supporting the following options:

Final Look of Search Site

Following is the final look of our Search site with the Web Analytics web part and data.

Troubleshooting issues with Web Analytics

If you encounter any problems with Web Analytics you can perform the following checks:
1.  Ensure Central Administration > Services > Web Analytics Services are started
2.  Ensure Central Administration > Service Applications > Web Analytics Service Application is started
3.  Add a user and give Full Control permissions in Central Administration > Web Analytics service application
4.  Ensure the latest Cumulative Update pack is installed for your SharePoint 2010 edition
5.  Check your Search Service Application is configured correctly
6.  Ensure Search is return results for valid site titles

Web Analytics Reports

In addition to these we can see the Web Analytics Reports.  To access the reports go to Site Actions > Site Settings page.

There you can see 2 links as highlighted above.

You can use the left pane to view information on Traffic, Search and Inventory.  The Analyze tab on the ribbon can be used to apply Period, Filter, Page size etc.




In this article we have learned creating a new site of Search Center template, configuring it with Web Analytics.

I hope this scenario and information should provide you a base for working with Search in future.

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