Search - Reindex

Drupal's built in search engine can be configured and tweaked for your site.

The search engine configuration is located at admin > configuration > Search and Metadata.

In this subgroup you will see search settings.

The search settings is the first option.

Clicking the Search settings takes you to the search settings page.  From this page you can see the following:

The first one, Index status, tells the status of indexing on your site and gives you the option to re-index your site.  Indexing is the scanning by the internal Drupal search engine of all the content so Drupal knows what it has.  This is index contains a list of everything on your site.  When you search, the Drupal search engine looks through this list / index.

Drupal will tell you how much of your site has been indexed.

If you observe odd behavior in your searching or your index is not reliable, you need to re-index your site, and this is where it gets confusing.   Clicking the re-index button will not re-index your site.  It seems like it should re-index your site, but it doesn't.  It just sets Drupal up for a re-index.  Your old index is deleted, and a new one is allowed to be created.

When you click the re-index button, you will be prompted for confirmation.

When you click the re-index, and confirm it via the confirmation button, you will be greeted with a green confirmation box.

The green confirmation is a good thing.

At this point, your index is gone, and a new empty one is in its place.  The new one is empty.  You must tell Drupal to fill the index and that functionally is controlled by cron.  

Be advised, Cron is complex and powerful.  It does alot besides search indexing.  This example barely touches the power of cron.

Cron is located on your status report page at: admin/reports/status.  Your status page will show cron with two ways of running it.

This is displayed on the status page.

If you are logged into your site as an administrator, you can force Drupal to run cron, thus re-index your site by clicking the run cron manually link (/admin/reports/status/run-cron).

If you not logged in as an administrator or have an outside system or app running cron.  You can configure that app / system to hit the full cron URL.  Both links obtain the same goal.  There are just two different paths.

When you run cron and it is successful, you will get the green confirmation box.

A green box indicates success.

When you return to your search settings page at admin/config/search/settings, you will see that your site has been indexed.

This is a before and after take on cron's re-indexing.