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I have a site on EE 3.5.17. I am using the basic search feature provided and have a template which outputs results as follows:

{exp:search:search_results}
    <h4><a href="{auto_path}">{title}</a></h4>
    <p>{excerpt}</p>
{/exp:search:search_results}

When I do certain searches I get a URL to images (and sometimes other resources like PDF's) in place of {excerpt}. For example the output might be:

<h4><a href="https://example.com/whitepaper/foo">Whitepaper: Foo</a></h4>
<p>https://example.com/pdf/foo.pdf</p>

When I visit these pages there is more on them than just a downloadable PDF. For example the structure of the page above (/whitepaper/foo) contains a <h1>, followed by a couple of paragraphs of text, and finally a downloadable file (/pdf/foo.pdf).

I can't see any way to override what the search facility uses as the {excerpt}. Is this possible?

Furthermore, the search results appear in a seemingly random - and not at all useful - order.

We are not upgrading this particular site to EE 4.x, and I don't know if the search in that is any better?

On a previous version of this site we used Google Site Search (i.e. where you have a form that scrapes results from Google for our domain, search-term site:example.com) but it looks like this has been discontinued.

Please can someone advise on how they've dealt with this situation as I imagine it's quite common.

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You should check your channel's settings for "Search excerpt". That lets you define a field from which to pull the excerpt.

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