Explain rank in Sharepoint 2013 Search

Insights into search black magic

Default ranking model in Sharepoint 2013 is completely different from what we’ve seen in FS4SP and is definitely a step forward comparing to SP2010. In a nutshell it uses multiple features (to take into account query terms, it’s proximity; document click-through, authority, anchor text, url depth etc ) which are mixed with help of neural network as a final step. Details can be found in patent claim http://www.google.com/patents/US8296292.

Hopefully there’s a way to bring more light into this black magic. I’ve modified default Display Template and added “Explain Rank” link to each item. This link redirects user to ExplainRank page which hosted under {search_center_url}/_layouts/15/ folder.

1 - starwars

I used

  • d=ctx.CurrentItem.Path
  • q=ctx.DataProvider.$2_3.k  (have found this hidden property using trial & error method)
  • another option is to extract value for q= from QueryText from ctx.ListData.Properties.SerializedQuery which value was<Query Culture=”en-US” EnableStemming=”True” EnablePhonetic=”False” EnableNicknames=”False” IgnoreAllNoiseQuery=”True” SummaryLength=”180″ MaxSnippetLength=”180″ DesiredSnippetLength=”90″ KeywordInclusion=”0″ QueryText=”star wars” QueryTemplate=”{searchboxquery}” TrimDuplicates=”True”…

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How SharePoint 2013 Ranking models work

Insights into search black magic


Think of search as a two phase process, firstly search engine identifies documents that match query, secondly it performs ranking to predicts relevancy of each document. Typically search engines calculate rank taking into account many different things including attributes of document, importance of query terms, user clicks and so on – all of them are called ranking features.

Let’s review SharePoint 2013 ranking models in details : which features do they include, how it works and where it can be configured.

A list of available ranking models can be obtains using following commands in powershell:

(pay attention that in 2nd line there should be NO $ near  -Level ssa,  MSDN example contains this typo (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607990.aspx)


Here’s a list of available ranking models:

  • Default Ranking Model
  • Catalog ranking Model
  • Recommender ranking model
  • People Search expertise social distance ranking model
  • People Search name social distance ranking model

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Search Architecture with SharePoint 2013

Search Unleashed

I’d like to revisit the topics that Leo have so well described in his 2 previous posts titled  ”Search 101″ and “Search Architecture in SharePoint 2010″, but discuss those in the context of SharePoint 2013 Search.  This post will address general architecture of SharePoint 2013 Search, describe all the components involved and briefly touch upon the biggest changes when coming from FAST for SharePoint 2010 “world”.  Future posts will go deeper into each search component and provide both an overview and troubleshooting information.

  • Search 101: general concepts of search, including crawling, processing, indexing and searching (Leo’s initial post)
  • Search Architecture in SharePoint 2013: the overall architecture of search-related components in SharePoint 2013  (this post)
  • Planning and Scale (future post)
  • Installation / Deployment (future post)
  • Crawling
  • Processing (future post)
  • Indexing (future post)
  • Searching (future post)

Search 101

As Leo has described in his previous post, if are a complete ‘newbie’ as to how search engine should work, the…

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How to get Search Analytics Reports programmatically in SharePoint 2013

Radu Tut

In SharePoint 2010 it was possible to obtain reports from web analytics programmatically using Microsoft.Office.Server.WebAnalytics.Reporting.AnalyticsReportFunction class.However, in SharePoint 2013 the Web Analytics Service Application was merged into the Search Service Application. It seems now that the old assemblies used for this (Microsoft.Office.Server.WebAnalytics.dll and Microsoft.Office.Server.WebAnalytics.UI.dll) are not available any more.

In SP 2013 UI, the reports are available at these locations, as “Usage Reports”

  • CA->Application Management->Manage Service Applications->Search Service Application->Usage Reports
  • Site Settings -> Site Administarion ->Popularity Trends -> View Usage Reports

These reports can now be obtained programmatically using SearchServiceApplication class, from Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.dll. There are two methods available for these:

Although there are more reports that can be obtained from the SSA, i will only explain these two options.

Search analytics data is kept in a SQL database – AnalyticsReportingStore. GetSearchReport is based on SQL stored procedure ar_procGetTopSearchReport and GetRollupAnalyticsItemData is based on ar_procGetAnalyticsItemData.

GetSearchReport has the following parameters:

  • reportType – int :…

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