Sharepoint or, as a previous boss would have called it, “bloody Sharepoint” has a powerful search service that can index not only Sharepoint documents and sites but also external content. Unfortunately the flexibility of the service breeds considerable complexity and the out-of-the-box behaviour leaves a little to be desired.

Our most recent issue was that we had the standard definition of the ‘Title’ managed property which has the crawled property ‘ows_Title’ as the highest priority. This, you would think, would mean that the the Title entered on the List Item for the a document via the Edit Properties form would be the title for each document in search results. You would be wrong.

It turns out that there is a feature called ‘Optimistic Title Override’ that tries to guess a better title based on the content of the first page of the document (such as a bold, large line of text on page 1). Similar features override the Author (CreatedBy) and LastModifiedTime.

In Sharepoint 2010 these features can be disabled via the registry. In 2013 they can’t be disabled – thankfully we are running 2010 at the moment!

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