Add a search bar

A site's owner and core team members can add a search bar anywhere on a site or page using the search card. Using the search bar, people can use keywords and phrases to explore your site's content. You can also enable global navigation to add a search bar to the top of your site next to the user profile and notifications buttons.

What shows up in search results?

Content added to the site's content library will show up in your site's search results. For example, if you created an open data initiative to share data with your community, a community member can enter a search query for parks on your site's search bar and any item related to local community resources (such as web maps of playgrounds, schools, and pools) will appear as search results.

Groups added through the groups manager will be automatically added to the site's catalog. All content shared to that group should appear in the search catalog. Content that belongs to designated open data groups will also appear as search results for any search query entered at For more information, see Make your content more discoverable.


Staff and community members who have access to items that have been shared internally can view these private items in search results when signed in with their account.

Configure a search card

Use this card when you want to add a search bar to a site or page layout.

  1. Add a Search card to the layout.
  2. Choose a size for Search bar width.
  3. Provide placeholder text in the Search placeholder text field. For example, you could use Search by Keyword or Find Data.
  4. Click Save.

How searching works

When executing a search, content items are compared to a query and ranked by relevance. Relevance is calculated by syntactic matches between a search query and content item metadata fields including title, description, and more.

Live searches usually have more results than content view as the two pages (search, content library) use different search workflows. A site's content library will show all items in all groups added to the site. Live search shows individual layers in addition to their parent service, so the result count is often higher than for the content view, which only shows parent services.

Boosting, or relative importance among fields, is a complex process and happens at several different stages during generation of search results. It only occurs when there is a match on a particular field. The fields that are boosted the most are "title" and "description" followed by "categories" and "tags."

After search results have been calculated, filters and their list of values are returned if there are two or more values. Each filter lists values by aggregating metadata from all returned search results. Filter values are ranked in descending order of frequency (usage).