GSA search


The Global Search Appliance (GSA) is a type of search item used throughout Hantsweb. A reusable set of generic search items which have been defined so that content authors can create search pages that search Sitecore content using the Google Search Appliance.

This includes five components:

  1. Metadata management
  2. Listing pages
  3. Creating a GSA collection
  4. GSA collection & front end
  5. Creating the search rendering

Library finder

WCMS use

1. Setting up metadata in Sitecore

Metadata items are managed in Global settings > metadata > shared content area as lookup items.

You can reuse the metadata lookup items however if required you can add new metatags by creating new lookup items in this folder.

When you setup metadata tags on a page, save and preview page, view page source and see the tags rendered in the header

The meta fields are rendered out into the header of the page to be picked up by GSA. Tags are added in a prioritised order.



<title>Page title</title>

<meta name="description" content=“This page is about x, y and z" />

<meta name="keywords" content=“Synonyms, related terms etc">

<meta name=“Tag name 1" content=“Tag 2"  />

<meta name=“Tag name 2" content=“Tag A"  />



Metatags and inheritance

Meta description and meta keywords fields are not inherited, they are unique to each page

If a child does not have a meta tag for a tag name, then it will inherit the parents tags for that tag name.

Page Tags added in CMS Final result
Parent page Tag X <meta name=“Tag name 3" content=“Tag X" />
Child page Tag B

<meta name=“Tag name 3" content=“Tag X" />

<meta name=“Tag name 2" content=“Tag B" />

Grandchild page 1 Tag A
<meta name=“Tag name 3" content=“Tag X" />

<meta name=“Tag name 2" content=“Tag A" />
Grandchild page 2 Tag Y

<meta name=“Tag name 2" content=“Tag B" />

2. Listing pages for GSA to crawl

As most of our search pages in Hantsweb are not linked to from elsewhere, a page needs to be created that contains links to all the pages that the collection must search.

A “Listing page” template has been created so that a content author can create one of these pages

These pages are created as child pages to the related search page.

  1.  Locate search page on the content tree
  2.  Add in a listing page template and rename for relevant search
  3.  In the root item field select the path of the search item
  4.  The search listing page will then generate a bullet point list of links to all of its children

3. Create a Listing page and a GSA collection

A collection is created using the GSA administration tool

The collection is pointed to the Listing page for the desired search (the collection is setup to include specific URLs or URL patterns)

Dynamic navigation is setup to search and create filters for the relevant meta fields added to the content pages, this is associated with a collection

  1. Create a listing page by inserting a HCC_Listing page under the service/content area on the content tree
  2. In the Listing page detail section enter the parent path of the items you want to index for the search
  1. Insert a new GSACollection under common-content > Searches > Searchsettings > Collection, and rename for specific search using the naming convention of content area and the environment Example: Adult social care > supporting families search = sc_supportingfamilies_prod
  2. Create a Front end name (dynamic navigation etc) in the Frontend folder
  3. This contains the front end value in GSA.

4. Create and configure a search item

Two configuration items need to be created for each search. These items will sit in the location: /sitecore/content/common-content/Searches/SearchSettings/Forms

  1. Insert a GSASearchInstance
  2. Select your collection from the dropdown
  3. Select a frontend from the datasource
  4. Edit the relevant sections of: form settings, free text field settings, dropdown field settings, postcode and map settings
  5. Edit the result settings and include format results to be displayed
  6. Select the metatags to include under Fields to display

5. Add a GSA search rendering to a page

  1. In Experience Editor go to the page you are adding the GSA search to
  2. Select to add a GSASearch rendering
  3. Locate your GSASearchInstance in /sitecore/content/common-content/Searches/SearchSettings/Forms
  4. The search form should be created and ready to test use
Version and status
  • 2
  • current version
  • Concept
  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Release