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SharePoint Search Activity

SharePoint uses two search pages: Search.aspx (site search) and SharePoint.aspx (SharePoint Home).  While they look fairly similar, they behave a bit differently and use different parameters.

Search Tracked Properties

We capture the following tracked properties:
  • Query
  • Vertical
  • Refiners
  • SearchResultsPage

Where we track search queries

There's no shortage of entry points into search.  You can pass query string parameters or the search box will pass the query directly.  We'll capture search queries from the following entry points:
  • Search box on a site
  • Search box on SharePoint Home
  • Verticals on Search.aspx
  • Verticals on SharePoint.aspx
  • Paging on Search.aspx

Tracking search result link clicks

If a user clicks on a search result link, we'll emit an event with the result text that was clicked. This works on all Verticals except for Power BI which uses a different rendering template making it difficult to detect. This means we know what search results a user clicks on after making a search.

Where we don't track search queries

There are a few places that we don't collect search queries due to technical constraints:
  • Paging on SharePoint.aspx

  • Did you mean / no results buttons. In the example below, the original query 'speling' will be captured. However, clicking on 'Did you mean spelling?' or 'Search all content for speling' will not capture a search query.

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Office desktop clients (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Windows search

The Search Activity Report

Our new search report gives you all of your top search questions on a single pane of glass. This report gives you access to the top items that have been searched by the user, and what they clicked through to.