Search-tab configuration settings can be made on many different levels, with settings inherited along the lines of the SharePoint hierarchy.

Figure: SharePoint 2013 structure

A very simple Search & Preview solution might include just one search-tab configuration that is managed at the farm level; this will then function as a central Search & Preview search configuration for all result pages on all underlying sites. As the solution grows in complexity, you might decide to override some or all of the inherited search-tab settings by making settings at the application, site-collection or even single-site level. It is also possible to configure a search-result page to select its search-tab settings based on where the user was when initiating the search, thus overriding some or all inherited and local settings and replacing them with settings associated with the referring site. Another common solution is to make all relevant settings at the site-collection level; this is because access to the central administration site is often restricted.

At each level, you can use the Search Tabs page to define any number of search-tab configurations (each with its own unique name, properties, and configuration), make general settings that apply to the full collection of search tabs at that level and set the order in which search tabs will be listed by the Search Tabs Web Part. The Search Tabs page shows icons that indicate when a given tab or setting has been inherited and/or customized locally (see “The Search Tabs Page” for details).

When making search-tab settings, you must, therefore, pay careful attention to where you are in the site structure when you open the settings page.

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