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External search removed from BBC Online

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Seetha Kumar Seetha Kumar | 11:30 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

There has been some talk recently about innovation - is it becoming another buzz word?

I am curious to understand what people really mean when they use the 'i' word and the real world examples they intuitively embrace. Being practical, I understand it to mean both BBC iPlayer - the fastest growing search term on Google last year - and more recently the engaging Bugbears. Check it out and let me know what you think.

I talked about quality in December - this will be a recurrent theme.

It was interesting to read the diverse selection of comments about branding from my last post - I had to smile when I read the remarks about the 'cyclical nature of the BBC's management decisions'. Yes, sometimes it does come across that way. In this case, though, I disagree that 'it matters very little to people who use the service, just those within the organisation looking for ways to spend their allocated budget.' The key task - as addressed by old boar - was to make all our services part of the 'normal' BBC, by simultaneously removing surplus brands and simplifying the overall branding.

Old boar and lucas42 are right - consistency is important. We need a uniform url policy, it's something we've started thinking about late last year - more on this later. And yes, if we are trying to work towards consistent branding, making the site operate consistently is vital. Three c's I worry about are: clarity, consistency and coherence, and I comfortably predict these will be the subject of many more musings.

Picking up on Sue Aitch's positive comment on our commitment to accessibility, I hope you have read my colleague Jonathan Hassell's two recent posts and some of the aspirations we have for the year. They include improved live subtitle synchronisation, improving the iPlayer's media player so it can display the colours currently used in broadcast subtitles to indicate different speakers, and inclusion of subtitles on BBC channels simulcast on bbc.co.uk.

In this post I wanted to tell you about another step we are taking towards being clearer about we do and don't do. Today will see the end of the web search option on BBC Online. I know that when we removed this from the re-launched homepage over a year ago, (we replaced it later) a number of users complained so I want to set out the thinking behind this decision.

When I took this job on following the BBC Trust Service License review last year, there were several actions pending in my in tray. One of these being a request from the Trust that we look at web search.

Reviewing the service recently you cannot help but come to the conclusion that BBC web search was not sufficiently different in quality or character from others like Google or MSN to justify the time and money spent maintaining it. Users have easy access usually in their browser, to a very similar service. Usage is not high, accounting, on average, for between 10 -15% of the total amount of searches made on BBC Online.

We'd do far better to concentrate on making our own BBC website search as good as it can be, for example by developing our topics proposition and improving the way we point users to other related content around and off the site. To be honest, there is a lot we can do to provide users with a range of editorially selected links to other high quality sites in the UK and elsewhere. This is why we have decided - with the endorsement of the BBC Trust - to end the web search option.

I realise that some of you may find this inconvenient, but do not believe that in the current search market the BBC can genuinely make enough of a difference. We need to focus our energies where we can truly do so. I want to direct our efforts over the coming months on providing a richer selection of external links across BBC Online. At the moment, these can look thin.

For example, although our health page on autism has a good selection of external links, these are not available on our autism topics page and there are none at all on our search results page for autism.

In fact, there is a huge number of excellent links across the site. The problem is that these links can be a bit buried away. So we need to bring all our links into a single database so that they can be presented to users in a wider range of contexts across BBC Online - rather as we do in News with alternative coverage of some stories.

Seetha Kumar is Controller, BBC Online.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Can the button to the right of the search box read "Search BBC" [or "Search BBC content"] instead of just "Search" ?
    Just to make it explicit rather than implicit.

    When users get to the Search results page I don't suppose you'd consider having an option to "Go to Google" alongside "Explore the BBC" ?

  • Comment number 2.

    I think your focus on topic pages is great. Unfortunately, they are quite sparse as you point out. And glaringly missing is a good selection of links out to external sources providing information or additional perspectives on a given topic.

    Are these the links you say are buried elsewhere on the BBC site? Is the BBC committed to displaying external (i.e. non BBC) links on these topic pages without having each one pre-screened by an editor? Lots of big sites (NY Times) have taken steps in the right direction, and I'm hoping the BBC does the same.

    BTW, this blog is a fantastic effort in reaching out to the community, so well done!

    Shafqat
    CEO NewsCred

  • Comment number 3.

    I dont think the BBC would advertise one particular provider, however maybe for those who are used to using BBC web search, or those who have BBC as thier homepage, and are new to the web, there could be a link to a page, guiding users how to use a general web search provider.

  • Comment number 4.

    @newscred

    We've been experimenting with using content from external sites (like Wikipedia) on http://bbc.co.uk/music .

    Check out this page as an example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/cc197bad-dc9c-440d-a5b5-d52ba2e14234

    Thanks for the positive feedback!

  • Comment number 5.

    No issue with the removal of a web search function. Would imagine most users would have some awareness of at least one external search engine.

    I would, however, dearly like to see an option, or better support, for searching news stories by date - using day, month or year in search field to only return results published in those years for example. It seems an important research tool which in my experience currently returns very poor results.

    Feels like there is a whole lot more that users could be getting out of the website and any steps to bring more information to our fingertips has to be applauded.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm glad the option has been removed, I never used it and always felt it a silly idea.

    Hopefully now searching internally, in particular news searching, can be improved as its currently rather poor.

  • Comment number 7.

    smallnumbers post #5 set me to thiniking it would be nice to also have a Blog search feature in the main BBC Blogs page, and to search by:

    Blog name
    Post name
    Topic e.g. autism
    Poster's name e.g. seetha kumar
    Date - may be general e.g. 11/08
    Comment by name e.g. this could be: External Search + shefftim
    or a sample of text e.g "Accessibility should not be an optional extra"

    or a mix of the above.

  • Comment number 8.

    The sad fact is that google is the best way to find things on the bbc site - news especially. I've often wanted to go back and find some news that I saw a few days ago, and I've never once managed with the built in search, despite some persistence. Using google I tend to get it at the first result (using site:news.bbc.co.uk). Google has knowledge of a page's popularity (based on links in to it), the BBC could include their own popularity data to help improve the relevence of search results. Filtering by date etc would be useful to.

  • Comment number 9.

    @Ed

    To true. It's frustrating but Google gets me to so many parts of bbc.co.uk that the internal search can't.

  • Comment number 10.

    Pity to lose the external seach because it cleaned out the junk you normally have to wade thro on the other search engines. Not to mention the fact they are all ultimately US based. Be nice to have the British based engine.
    Something else also semms to have vanished. Went to put a post on Nature pages. Science and Nature boards appear to have gone as well unless I've missed something. In fact all info pages have dissiolved into programmes related content rather than info-related content. Is this just another example of financial cuts. Pity because the website used to be a valuable education resource and I though that was part of your remit.

  • Comment number 11.

    Two points to make:

    1. There was no notice of this change given to users. The first I knew of it when the change was implemented.

    2. There's nothing to explain the change. My first thought was that it was a fault with the bbc homepage.

    Tell people that are you are going to do something, preferably a few days in advance.

    I found the external search very useful, as it was clean, i.e, no adult stuff, and relatively free of sponsored results.

    I will now be changing my homepage.

    Bye Bye BBC !

  • Comment number 12.

    I was surprised, on performing an external search on the bbc.co.uk site that it wasn't yielding the results I expected. I've tracked down the reason through this column (ironically, by using the BBC search engine).

    As my default search engine the BBC facility returned UK-based sites first, which is what I want. It's a disappointment that this feature has been dropped, seemingly with little notice. This lack of integration may now force many of us away from the BBC home page.

  • Comment number 13.

    The removal of this facility which I used on a daily basis means that I will now change my homepage to one which will enable me to access the web on launching my browser

  • Comment number 14.

    I am most disappointed that you have removed the Web Search facility.

    I've been using it almost exclusively for many years both at home and work for the key benefit of search results without adverts.

    I also find it amazing (well, thoughtless) that you did this without any prior warning and without leaving any indication on your home page.

    But the most important thing is its absence. Who has the power to change this decision?

  • Comment number 15.

    I am very disappointed that the BBC has decided to remove its general search engine facility. It was by far the best and most reliable way to search the web. The other popular web search sites are often full of adverts and completely irrelevant hits. Please reconsider the decision.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why you believe that the BBC needs to make a 'difference' in the current search market I do nit know. Is it not enough to provide a very appreciated service, that as others have commented cuts out all the rubbish you get while searching using google or yahoo or other engines. The limit of 'sponsered' links etc made a pleasant change in this financially driven world.

    The BBC homepage was my first point of contact with the www both an home and work giving me the ability to easily search for both internal and external content at the click of a button. Unfortunately your homepage no longer fulfills my requirement in a homepage and I shall with much regret be changing my homepage.

    I hope that you see sense, reconsider this move and replace the service that you were providing to your users, who after all pay for it with our license fee!

  • Comment number 17.

    I am very disappointed that the full web search option has been removed from the homepage.
    All of our family used this facility extensively for good, clean searching without annoying adverts seemingly all over the screen.
    Is there not way that further consideration could be made to bring it back?

  • Comment number 18.

    Exceedingly disappointed, reflecting many views that BBC global search terminated.

    BBC will potentially lose many "viewers" changing their homepage. How to quantify?

    Time and expense from licence fees is surely justified by provision of the world's only (?) non-sponsored Internet search facility.

    Is consideration of returning this invaluable facility achievable only by inviting viewers to send in thousands of complaints - we ask?







  • Comment number 19.

    I am distraught at the loss of the www search facility. I used it all the time and found it so much better than any of the other search engines. It was the main reason I had BBC as my homepage, and like many others, I will be going elsewhere. I am a silver surfer, and the BBC's www search engine was so straight forward and easy to use. It was one of the services I valued most from my licence fee.

  • Comment number 20.

    I too am very disappointed with the decision to remove the web search facility from the BBC site. For the reasons mentioned already by others I have used it for many years.

    Unfortunately I shall now be going elsewhere and changing my homepage.

    Please reconsider this decision.

  • Comment number 21.

    Removing the Web search is just typical BBC arrogance. Where was the consultation of the people who pay your wages. It is a pity that there is not an election for the people who run the BBC where you would have to answer for your actions. The search facility worked well as far as I was concerned. The new arrangement is pitiful by comparison. I do not want a US based seach. You should be trying to increase the number of visitors to your site. This move has just lost you one, or quite possibly many.

  • Comment number 22.

    for those complaining about the loss of results - and correct me if i'm wrong - were the results essentially 90% from google but with the "pages from the uk" box ticked?

    How exactly did the search engine differ. I mainly ask as the few times I tried to use it I just found it to be google but without the ads and more restrictive.

  • Comment number 23.

    I,too, used the Web search every time I used the internet and found the results refreshingly free from adverts.The searches usually brought exactly the information I needed, without irrelevant hits to be waded through. I have been using it since it was launched,as a British biased search is what I need, not merely "pages from the U.K."
    It was discourteous to merely remove it without giving some time for consultation and discussion.
    It was the reason I had set the BBC as my home page, but I often saw other interesting looking articles which led me into the BBC website. It's unfortunate that that won't happen now, as I will be setting my homepage to enable me to access the web as soon as it is loaded.

  • Comment number 24.

    Worth baring in mind that Internet Explorer 7+, along with Firefox and Safari (and possibly others) have a search engine facility built into the browser.

  • Comment number 25.

    I too am disappointed that the external search facility has been removed from the BBC webpage. I have had the BBC set as my homepage for a number of years now, I would check out the news stories, weather etc then start my internet searches safe in the knowledge that there would be no sites of an adult nature (I felt safe letting my children use the search facility as well) and that the results would be British first and US a long way second. Now I am forced to find another search engine and will not have the BBC as my homepage....oh dear Auntie Beeb, not the best idea you have had...

  • Comment number 26.

    I was really disappointed to see the web search function removed from the bbc front page.

    I use www.bbc.co.uk as my home page and while it does provide 'links to almost everything' via the sub menus on the various pages, the web search function made the site perfect for my needs.

    I had assumed that the BBC search engine was 'an own brand' search engine provided by one of the 'main brand search engines'.

    If I want to use one of the branded search engines, I can go to them direct, I really liked the 'one stop shop' aspect the web search provided to the bbc home page.

    What about 'BBC web search brought to you in partnership with ??????,?', I see a BBC Worldwide revenue stream that is just waiting to be tapped.

    I would appeal for the return of a web search function at the top of the BBC front page, your front page has traffic levels that mush justify retaining a 'web search' facility.

  • Comment number 27.

    It is unfortunate that the full web search has been removed from BBC on-line. It was a very useful way of searching the internet free of "paid for results" and other advertising. The reason given in the help pages is nonsense as providing recommendations(which the old BBC web search did anyway) is not at all incompatable with providing a free impartial web search facility as well.

  • Comment number 28.

    I am also very disappointed that the web search facility has been removed. This was used both by myself and my wife for the same reasons as stated by earlier bloggers, that is, the convenience and the clean returns.

    My Google search with my Safari browser does not have the facility to limit searches to the UK as "Hymagumba" states, though I did have this when using PC with IE. Hence I now have to trawl through many non Uk returns.

    Please reinstate the facility.

  • Comment number 29.

    I too wish to express my disappointment at the removal of the BBC search engine. It was ever so useful - and reliable.

    I hope that it was not removed because the BBC was "leant on" by the commercial search engines which derive an income from their use.

    If you do a search using Google for "land registry" you are directed as your first choice to a sponsored link - a private company which charges for providing information about property - not the Land Registry website.

    Please, please, please give us back the BBC search engine - or do we all need to write to Roger Bolton at feedback@bbc.co.uk
    so that Seetha Kumar can be given a grilling on Radio 4!!

    I thought that it was a good use of licence fee payers' monies.

  • Comment number 30.

    I am also very upset that the BBC web search facility has been removed. This provided me with a free from porn and ads search, part of my Home Page BBC service, together with an overview of the day's News and Weather.
    What impartial Home Page can I select now?
    Please restore.

  • Comment number 31.

    It's not surprising to see that some users of bbc.co.uk are disappointed that the external search engine is being removed. However, in response to the suggestions that this is "typical BBC arrogance" and that nobody was asked their opinion first, I'd like to set the matter straight.

    A team for the BBC Trust, of which I was a member, reviewed bbc.co.uk in 2007. Part of this was a public consultation which asked lots of questions to get a good sense of what people thought of it.

    We asked: does bbc.co.uk enable users to navigate and search easily and does it lead its users effectively beyond BBC content?
    And we found that: "most respondents feel that bbc.co.uk is easy to navigate, but many find it harder to use the search function. Most believe that other search engines are more effective at searching the web."

    (see link to the full review)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/framework/bbc_service_licences/bbc_co_uk_evidence.html

    So it was actually audience feedback like this which led to the Trust's conclusion that the search engine was no longer adding value to the BBC's online offer and underpinned our recommendation that it be reconsidered.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm really disappointed that you've taken the search engine away. I've used it extensively every day for years and have never felt guilty about reading the BBC homepage and bits of news etc. whilst going to start a work-related search off from there. The results were always pretty good and I was really happy with it.

    Now it looks as if I'm going to have to change my homepage to Google ...

    I think you just lost this reader - and probably many more.

    What a shame!

  • Comment number 33.

    I have followed the link given by AlisonGold above and have copied a couple of sections of the documents as below.

    "There were mixed views on the search function, with some members praising the
    strength of bbc.co.uk as a search engine which those who used it regularly felt was on
    a par with the Google search engine; others found it compared poorly, even when
    searching for BBC programming. Some members would like to see an enhancement of
    the search tool to allow more user specifity, for example narrowing searches by date
    and Boolean searching".

    "The Trust received a good level of response to this public consultation and is very grateful
    to all of those who responded.
    A total of 460 responses were received between 16 July 2007 and 16 December 2007. Four
    were from the BBC Trust’s Audience Councils, nine from external organisations and 447
    from individuals."

    "By encouraging people to use bbc.co.uk as a trusted stepping-off place for
    exploring the wider web: The adoption of informed links to the best of the
    wider web has become widescale throughout bbc.co.uk, as is considered
    further in Section 5.3. (This refers to the Management Submission Main Submission)."

    Please note 447 responses from individuals is classified as a good level of response in the document.

    I have also tried out the external link at the bottom RH of the results page when carrying out a simple search for Bank of Scotland and Barclays. There was no link for Barclays and the former gave me a HBOS link only. This falls very short of what the old external search facility would have given.

    Once again I ask that the web search facility be reinstated.

  • Comment number 34.

    After having BBC as my home page for years and having come to rely on the easy to use and uncluttered search engine I was surprised to find that with no warning it had disappeared.My wife who is not realy computer literate treats it as the end of the world as she hates trawling through the mountains of unnecessary information on other search engines. Please bring back the internnet search ! It was so useful. Focus groups don't always represent our opinion

  • Comment number 35.

    For those concerned about seeing ads in search results you could try the likes of the Customize Google add-on for Firefox, or similar software, which should remove most 'paid for' search results. Might take some of the sting out of losing the external search.

  • Comment number 36.

    I've only just found my way to this blog after being a tad bemused for a few days as to where the internet search function has gone.
    It would have been courteous to inform users that this change was happening and I do not understand why, on the day the change occured, you did not have something on the home page telling us why this function has gone.
    I would love to see this function restored, it was a useful, well filtered tool. It's also one of the main reasons why bbc.co.uk was my homepage. I wonder how many people will change their home page over the next few months as a result of this change. I will.
    Overall BBC - very very poor service in undertaking this change without informing users. Also, imho, a poor decision all round. Please reinstate - at least please inform people somwhere on the homepage that you have undertaken this change just to see what sort of response you actually get from genuine users rather than focus groups.

  • Comment number 37.

    Along with a lot of the other users here I found having the bbc site as my homepage very useful when it contained web search.

    Now without any warning the feature just vanishes and I have spent several days navigating away from my homepage in order to search. Very tiresome so dropping BBC now!

  • Comment number 38.

    I miss the search facility very much. As I have BBC set as my homepage it was the easiest and quickest way to do a search, and found it better than others as it filters out alot of stuff I wouldn't want, it felt safe, and gave mostly British content. I agree it was pretty useless at searching within the BBC itself though. I've noticed it missing for a while now, have been waiting for it to reappear, and today decided to check up - only to discover its disappearance was deliberate. My children laughed at me for using it rather than google, but I preferred it. Now wondering whether to have a different homepage with search engine inbuilt because it's cumbersome to always have to redirect to google. Sad. And irritating.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hope someone upstairs is reading all this. Note that all posts from number 10 onwards have bemoaned the removal of the web search facility. I also am not happy as I foud the search facility to be just perfect especially as results from UK sites seemed to be a priority. Sad to see it gone and am now considering moving my homepage elswhere. Please reconsider surely it can't be that hard to include and maintain?

  • Comment number 40.

    I think this is a BIG mistake.

    I had bbc.co.uk as my homepage as did all of the youngsters I come into contact with and we all used the BBC websearch exclusively as it gave exceptonally good results with no advertising links and no links which led to useless ends.

    I loathe google and all the others as the majority of results they provide are advertising in some way.

    If I asked the BBC search for 'foods containing Omega 3' I would get a list of links to pages giving exactly that - lists of foods containing omega 3. Enter the same question in google or my websearch or livesearch or any of the others and you get lists and lists of links to sites selling food supplements, but NO links to academic sites giving the information needed.

    This is just another example of the Beeb doing less and less for the licence-payers and more and more for 'looks and effects', caring more about how it looks to the rest of the industry than for the needs of its dependants!

    You are no longer my homepage - There is no point!

  • Comment number 41.

    Very disappointed that you have removed the web search from your homepage.

    Yours was much better that its competitors:
    More UK based
    No adverts
    Less cumbersome

    Please reinstate it!

  • Comment number 42.

    Typical of the Beeb.

    We used the BBC as our search engine at the junior school I work at. Why?
    1. Excellent education related links.
    2. A filtered content search.
    3. Excellent search results.

    We don't use yahoo or google as their search results are not filtered.

    There was no warning of the delation of the web search. I wrote 2 emails that have been ignored - try finding a page on the BBC website to compalin about the website!! I also phoned and complained, they took my details but never replied.

    We now have to use kids.yahoo.com. Its better than nothing but a lot of the search results are American orientated.

    Come on BBC, think about your actions! Why take a unilateral step without consulting others, you just made my life and 275 childrens lives a little harder!

  • Comment number 43.

    Like many others I have used the BBC as my homepage for many years and preferred to search the internet through this way - I am an 'older user' trying to keep up with technology and felt the results and sites directed to were 'safe' and the response to the search words accurate and direct - not like Google or Yahoo where I end up with irrelevancies and no proper answers. It has taken me several days to discover the change has not been my fault but a deliberate act by BBC without any notice to its users. I think this is high-handed, inconsiderate and ill-advised and strongly recommend the powers-that-be reconsider this decision.

  • Comment number 44.

    I am sorry but the removal of the web search option is another poor decision by the BBC which denies the minority (if your figures are correct) of things they like about the BBC. I have always preferred web search via the BBC to avoid adverts and all the other rubbish generated by the commercial sites. Please please reconsider.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have been using the BBC as my "Home page" for many years and I have also converted many of my friends and colleagues to do the same - all over the world. However one of the most important features for me was the ability to conduct web searches and that is still important. Unless you can restore this most useful feature I will, reluctantly have to change my home page and after so many years that will be sad for me. I know from my colleagues, who have all complained to me about this change that this feeling is similarly felt!

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm really disppointed that the BBC has stopped providing the impartial search engine. Google is all well and good if you want to accept that the people who pay the most get the highest rating. My experience was that with the BBC search I got the best quality search, regardless of paying for sponsored links and the like. Please bring it back.

  • Comment number 47.

    I am extremely upset that I can no longer search the internet from the BBC website. Personally, this facility alone made the licence fee very good value.

    I would not agree that “BBC web search was not sufficiently different in quality or character from others like Google or MSN”. For me there is a critical difference, as far as I am aware, BBC web search has no commerical arrangements with other organisations therefore the results of a search were based on relevance rather than commercial sponsorship.

    This meant I did not have to wade through endless irrelevant results that had simply used a keyword to get me to visit their site. It also meant that in the many years of using the search engine I was never directed to any sites of a dubious or adult nature. Something I can not say of commercially funded search engines.

    I thought that one of the remits of the BBC was to provide independent and impartial information thereby assisting people to have informed options. Given the nature and quantity of information available via the internet I struggle to see how providing impartial access to this information does not fall within that remit.

    I would be interested to know if the BBC has ever considered modifying its site and search engine to be more acceptable to a foreign government in the way Goggle did in order to get access to the Chinese market.

    As a small aside, I found BBC web search siggnificantly easier to use than the likes of Google, MSN or Yahoo, however I am sure with time I will adapt.

    I know that it is naive to hope that BBC web search will ever be re-introdueced but it nice to dream.

  • Comment number 48.

    It is interesting to note that the vast majority of the above comments want the search engine re-instated.

    I exclusively used the BBC search engine both at home and at work. The main reasons being that it was easy to use, it returned UK based sites and, in the vast majority of cases, it found the information I was looking for - without adverts! In fact, I never used google or yahoo or any other search engine.

    I note that only 447 individuals replied to the survey, so your decicion to to remove the search engine must be based on the opinions of less than 447 people. Can anyone tell me how many people actually used the BBC search engine facility? I suspect that it will be considerably more than the number of respondents who specifically asked for the engine to be removed.

    You would have had a far greater responce to the survey if you had inserted a step between pressing the search button and opening the search engine. This step could have warned people that the facility was about to have been withdrawn and asked for their opinion. Of course this would not have given you the 'right' result from the survey would it!

    Perhaps you could re-instate the search engine for say 6 months, and ask for peoples' opinion on whether it should be continued? I would advise that this be done quickly, as the number of people who have the BBC as their home page must be rapidly reducing.

    Now that the search engine has been removed from the web site I no longer
    have any real need to have the BBC as my home page anymore.

  • Comment number 49.

    Like other bloggers, I very rarely manage to find recent news stories through the BBC search facility. (I've just tried to find the decision on Jenson Button and the difuser row and I couldn't find anything through 'Search' whereas Google turns up a number of entries immediately.) Can the BBC Search facility be improved?

  • Comment number 50.

    Please let common sense prevail and reinstate this vital service to licence payers.

    Sure you received a lukewarm response from 447 individuals who may or may not use it regularly, but it's pointless to compare the BBC search engine service with Google or try to compete with it. It is valued for it's ability to provide an objective and independent result for readers who want to research a subject for whatever reason. Using Google for this purpose is like walking at midday through a bazaar full of hawkers in midday heat with irrelvant products pushed in your face, whilst the real treasure is hidden at the back of the stall in the cool shade.

    Nothing wrong with Google - bit it's horses for courses.

    I have introduced a number of friends and colleagues to the BBC site over the years and the quality and ease of use of the search engine has been a major selling point.

    If all of the respondents above each asked just 10 affected people to write in would the message finally get through? Come on BBC, demonstrate the major USPs of independence, objectivity and authority and resinstate this great service.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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