Search across hubs

Microsoft offers new functionality to associate a SharePoint hub site to another hub to expand search results across multiple hubs. This feature enables users to discover relevant content when searching on any sites related to the associated hubs.

Breadcrumb has set up and tested various scenarios to see how this works in practice. This paper outlines the findings and recommendations.

Hub site architecture test

Breadcrumb set up following architecture to test search results:

SharePoint site architecture example using connected hubs

Search results

Documents were placed on the sites and search was performed from different sites to see the results of cross-hub searches. The table below outlines the results of the test.

SharePoint sites and cross-hub search results

The diagram below presents test results. Green lines mean search results were returned between sites. Red lines mean search didn’t return results between sites.

Diagram of search results in SharePoint using associated hubs

Findings and recommendation

Connecting hub sites creates a confusing end-user experience. Different search results are shown depending on which site a user performs a search and requires users to know and understand the whole solution architecture. This is against best practice that suggests that users should have a consistent and seamless experience from any page on a connected site.

Connecting hub sites provides no additional functionality or benefits apart from search:

  • It doesn’t enable navigation shared across different hubs. Hub navigations are managed manually from each hub site.
  • It doesn’t enable look and feel inheritance.
  • It doesn’t enable permissions inheritance.

The use of search across hubs should be carefully considered before enabling this functionality.