Google Vs Enterprise SharePoint Search

Why Enterprise Search Implementation is more sufficient at Enterprise level, not Google Search?

This blog is more on thoughts.

As working on SharePoint 2013 contextual search project, the meaning of Contextual is different for different prospectives. In SharePoint Technology's point of view, Contextual is meant to Set Limit and Boundaries.

More Details

If I search within List, the List is my Context. The system should search within the List only; If I am searching within sub-site, the Sub Site is my context and the system should search within the sub-site.

So, this type of process is easy and here, we can easily set limit and boundaries.

To set the context of List & Library, we need to set U parameter. For example -

  • URL Parameter - U
  • Descriptions - Specify the URL from which the results will appear (without creating a new scope)
  • Example - results.aspx?k=sharepoint&u=

Now, the real story starts

Business says, Contextual means User Context (Not User Segment) - users' skills, department, expertise, area of interest etc.

These properties exist in the user profile and we can access and use these as input parameter for our search.

After interval of the story, we came to know one more contextual meaning, i.e., what activity is happening around the user i.e. what they are doing on day-to-day basis.

Example - What document I am sharing with others and what people are sharing with me. Or, What type of conversation I am having with people and waht people are communicating with me etc?

Then, I thought, I should explore more on Exchange API, LYNC API, and OneDrive API etc., from where I will take the latest happening activity keyword that will become the input for my search output.

Now twist comes

We are not “Google”. We are searching at Enterprise or Organizational level. Google is not having profile page and not having relevant keyword related user, so it takes the relevant keywords from other social media and shows the result but at Enterprise level, we have enough data related to the user. We should utilize those only.


Now, the use case exists.

We have enough user data at the organization level which exists in our system. And, it is exposed also in authorized environment. We should do proper ranking as per the weightage of the keyword and business requirement.