Manage the Search Center in SharePoint Online

The Search Center is a classic search experience. The Search Center is a site or site collection that has a starting page where users enter search queries and a search results page where users can drill into and refine search results, or run a new query.

SharePoint Online offers two types of Search Centers: the Basic Search Center and the Enterprise Search Center. By default SharePoint Online is set up with the Basic Search Center.

Both Search Centers search the same content and show the same search results. The main difference is that the Enterprise Search Center comes with the search verticals People, Conversations, and Videos. Search verticals are pages that are tailored for displaying search results that are filtered and formatted for a specific content type or class. Search verticals help users move quickly between such different types and classes of content. Also, as a search administrator you have more options for tailoring the look and feel of the Enterprise Search Center.

If your organization needs an enterprise-wide search experience, evaluate first whether the modern search experience covers your needs. Modern search also comes with verticals, it doesn't require any set up, and the results are personal. Learn about the modern search experience for users.

If modern search doesn't cover you needs, you can switch from the Basic Search Center to an Enterprise Search Center.

Search Center pages

These pages are located in the Pages library, and they contain predefined Web Parts that you can customize to improve the end user's search experience.

Page Description
default.aspx
The home page for Search Centers, and the page where users enter their queries.
results.aspx
The default search results page for the Search Centers.
If you have an Enterprise Search Center, this is also the search results page for the Everything search vertical.
peopleresults.aspx
If you have an Enterprise Search Center, this is the search results page for the People search vertical.
conversationresults.aspx
If you have an Enterprise Search Center, this is the search results page for the Conversations search vertical.
videoresults.aspx
If you have an Enterprise Search Center, this is the search results page for the Videos search vertical.
advanced.aspx
This is the search page where users can apply some restrictions to their search phrases — for example, they can limit the search to an exact phrase.

As a global or SharePoint admin, you can also create your own search pages and add them to the Enterprise Search Center as search verticals, see Add a search vertical to the Search Navigation Web Part.

About the Web Parts used on Search Center pages

The Search Center pages contain the following predefined Web Parts: Search Box Web Part, Search Results Web Part, Search Navigation Web Part, and Refinement Web Part.

If you have an Enterprise Search Center, the Web Parts on the search result pages are by default set up the same way. The only difference is that the query in the Search Results Web Part is directed to different result sources for each search vertical page. For example, for the People search vertical page, the query in the Search Results Web Part is limited to the Local People Results result source. For the Videos search vertical page, the query in the Search Results Web Part is limited to the Local Video Results.

For information about how to customize the Search Center Web Parts, see the following articles: