Including Welcome Pages in the search scope in SharePoint Web Content Management solutions

When using SharePoint search in a Web Content Management (WCM) solution you are very likely to create your scope which will include Publishing Pages only. As other pages like Application Pages and Lists' Forms are not accessible by anonymous visitors you don't want them to appear in the search results on the public site. While creating what I call a 'public scope' is rather straight-forward there is one thing you have to keep in mind to make it work as expected.

To create a search scope for use on an Internet-facing website, you need to create either a Shared or Site search scope with the contentclass = STS_ListItem_850 rule. By including this rule you will tell the search scope to include List Items of the Document Library of type 850 (Pages Library). As soon as you compile the scope and start searching you might notice that there are no results from any of the Welcome Pages included.

While running similar search query using the All Site Content scope I have found out that the Welcome Pages are of type Site instead of Document. It's rather odd knowing that they are Publishing Pages as well. In order to include Welcome Pages in your public search scope you need to add extra rule: contentclass = STS_Web.

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