In today’s tech-driven corporate landscape, SharePoint Online stands as a powerful tool for organizations to manage their content, collaborate seamlessly, and build robust Intranet portals. However, the vast amount of data hosted on SharePoint can sometimes pose a challenge in terms of finding relevant information quickly and efficiently. In this article, we will explore five effective strategies to optimize search functionality in SharePoint Online, ensuring that users can effortlessly locate the data they need amidst the digital haystack.
Option 1: Create Bookmarks
One of the initial steps in enhancing search results within SharePoint Online is to leverage the Bookmarks feature found in the Search & Intelligence Center. This feature empowers organizations to promote specific search results based on predefined keywords. Think of it as the digital equivalent of paid search results on Google, but without the cost. You can configure keywords and corresponding results to ensure users find the most relevant content promptly.
For instance, if a user searches for “Holiday Schedule,” you can promote a specific document or page related to this query. This capability can significantly streamline the search process and enhance user satisfaction.
Option 2: Implement Q&A
Another effective option within SharePoint Online is to utilize the Q&A feature, also present in the Search & Intelligence Center. While similar to Bookmarks, Q&A takes on a more question-and-answer format. Microsoft explains that creating a Q&A is akin to creating bookmarks, but Q&As enable you to provide direct answers to user queries, rather than just linking to a webpage. If a Bookmark and a Q&A share the same keyword, the bookmarked result takes precedence in the search results.
Option 3: Manage Acronyms
In every organization, unique acronyms abound, which can sometimes bewilder new employees or meeting attendees. SharePoint Online offers a solution by allowing the creation of a global list of acronyms within the Search & Intelligence Center. When someone searches for an acronym, SharePoint can provide an explanation for that abbreviation, ensuring that communication remains clear and accessible.
Option 4: Configure Verticals
An often-favored method to optimize search in SharePoint Online is the configuration of search verticals. This feature allows users to filter search results by selecting tabs, similar to Google’s search filters for Images, Videos, News, etc. SharePoint already provides predefined verticals such as Files, News, and People. Still, you can also create custom verticals based on specific search criteria, enhancing the precision of search results.
Custom verticals can be configured at both site and global tenant levels, providing flexibility for site owners.
Option 5: Leverage Viva Topics
A novel way to enhance search results in SharePoint Online is by harnessing Viva Topics, a separate application within Microsoft 365. Viva Topics enables the organization of projects and activities into distinct “topics,” complete with descriptions, relevant documents, and involved individuals. These topics can be created automatically based on existing content or manually as needed.
From a SharePoint search perspective, when users execute a search and enter topic keywords, Viva Topics can promote a dedicated Topic Card, which appears prominently in the search results, facilitating quick access to relevant information.
Optimizing search functionality in SharePoint Online is vital for organizations looking to make the most of their digital repositories. By implementing strategies such as Bookmarks, Q&A, Acronyms, Verticals, and Viva Topics, businesses can streamline search processes, improve user satisfaction, and unlock the full potential of SharePoint Online as a collaborative and knowledge-sharing platform. As technology continues to evolve, staying informed and making the most of these features is key to ensuring a productive and efficient digital workplace.
Whether traditional, hybrid, or distributed teams, if you’re looking to embrace new technologies to grow at an unparalleled pace, Microsoft SharePoint is the app for you. From small business owners to large corporations, your business can experience seamless communication and collaboration with Microsoft SharePoint.
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