The search box can be used in 2 different ways:

It can be used as a filter.

The search works by as a whole field substring search. If you have ‘John Smith’ and ‘Jane Smith’ in the dataset and search for ‘Smith’ it will give both of the above 2 items as options. When you click one (say ‘John Smith’), it will show all results with a field that matches ‘John Smith’.

It can be used to find a location.

If you type in ‘Smith’ (from the example above) and hit enter, it will look for ‘Smith’ as a location since one of the filter options was not selected. In this case Google’s geo-coder will be used, and in some cases (such as searching for ‘Smith’) the resulting location is not as obvious as searching for ‘New York, NY’.