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Manage query suggestions in SharePoint Server 2013

SharePoint 2013

Published: October 23, 2012

Summary: Query suggestions are phrases that you want the search system to suggest to users as they start typing a query. This article explains how to switch query suggestions on or off. It also explains how you can add phrases to the automatic query suggestions, and how you can add phrases that should not be used as query suggestions.

Applies to:  SharePoint Server 2013 

Query suggestions help users find information quickly by showing queries that might be similar to the one they're typing. For example, as users start to type "sales", they may be able to pick common sales-related queries from a list below the Search Box.

The search system automatically creates suggestions for a query when users have clicked one or more of the results for that query at least six times. The query suggestions are generated daily for each result source and for each site collection, so the automatic query suggestions can be different for different result sources and site collections.

When you follow the steps in this article to manually add phrases that should or shouldn't be used as query suggestions, the query suggestions apply to all result sources and all site collections.

In this article:

Before you begin

note Note:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

Before you begin this operation, review the following information about prerequisites:

  • Create a Search service application

Add phrases that should always or never be used as query suggestions

To add phrases that you want the search system to always or never suggest to users as they start typing a query, you have to create one or several text files that contain these phrases, and then import the files into the search system.

You should create separate text files for the phrases that you want to always be suggested, and for the phrases that you want to never be suggested. If you want to add query suggestions for multiple languages, you should also create separate files per language. The language determines how the query suggestions are processed internally in the search system, but all query suggestions are always displayed or suppressed for all languages as users enter their queries. Add each phrase as a separate line in the text file that you create, and save the file in UTF-8 encoding.

Warning Warning:

When you import a text file with phrases for query suggestions, you overwrite any existing manual query suggestions in the search system. The automatic query suggestions are not overwritten. If you want to edit existing manual query suggestions or add new ones, you should first export the existing query suggestions to a text file, and then update and re-import that file.

To add phrases that should always be used as query suggestions

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. Open the Query Suggestion Settings page.

    1. On the home page of the SharePoint Central Administration website, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

    2. On the Manage Service Applications page, click the Search service application.

    3. On the Search Administration Page, in the Queries and Results section, click Query Suggestions. The Query Suggestion Settings page opens.

  3. In the Language for suggestion phrases section, select the processing language for the query suggestions that you always want to suggest.

  4. In the Always suggest phrases section, click Import from text file. Browse to the file that you want to import and click OK.

  5. Click Save Settings.

note Note:

If you want to edit existing manual query suggestions or add new ones, click Export to file, update the text file and then re-import it. To remove all manual query suggestions, upload an empty text file.

To add phrases that should never be used as query suggestions

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. Open the Query Suggestion Settings page.

    1. On the home page of the SharePoint Central Administration website, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

    2. On the Manage Service Applications page, click the Search service application.

    3. On the Search Administration Page, in the Queries and Results section, click Query Suggestions. The Query Suggestion Settings page opens.

  3. In the Language for suggestion phrases section, select the processing language for the query suggestions that you never want to suggest.

  4. In the Never suggest phrases section, click Import from text file. Browse to the file that you want to import and click OK.

  5. Click Save Settings.

note Note:

If you want to edit existing manual query suggestions or add new ones, click Export to text file, update the text file and then re-import it. To remove all manual query suggestions, upload an empty text file.

Switch query suggestions on or off

Query suggestions are turned on by default. The following steps explain how to turn query suggestions on or off.

To enable or disable query suggestions

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. Open the Query Suggestion Settings page.

    1. On the home page of the SharePoint Central Administration website, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

    2. On the Manage Service Applications page, click the Search service application.

    3. On the Search Administration Page, in the Queries and Results section, click Query Suggestions. The Query Suggestion Settings page opens.

  3. In the Search Suggestions section, do one of the following:

    1. To enable query suggestions, check the Show search suggestions check box.

    2. To disable query suggestions, clear the Show search suggestions check box.

  4. Click Save Settings.

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