Channel Search is really broken down in three components. The control panel, core tags, and helper tags. The control panel allows you to manage your searches along with the various rules you setup. This is the first place to start. The core tags are the backbone of front-end templates – you will use these a lot. The helper tags are there to make Channel Search capable of a lot of different things. These tags won't be used by all time, but are available for the times you do need them.