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Putting Search on BBC Mobile

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Ulyssa MacMillan Ulyssa MacMillan | 17:38 UK time, Thursday, 3 September 2009

Search-bar_upload.jpgMost of us using the mobile internet have specific goals when it comes to using the BBC site - finding out the latest sports updates; checking the news and weather; finding out when a favourite programme is on, or watching it on mobile iPlayer.
There are thousands of BBC web pages on the mobile site, a whole world of additional content that you more than likely don't know about.
Offering search on mobile is a no-brainer - it gets you to the content you want with the least possible effort - so I'm very pleased to announce that we have finally launched a beta search on the mobile homepage.

I say finally as we in the mobile team, and our colleagues in Search have had many 'interesting' challenges developing BBC search for mobile. We know it's crucial to get the results right first time on mobile - and taking our website search and making it work to that goal was a complex project. We had to work with many different content providers across the BBC, getting the right metadata into their pages - no mean feat.
We spent weeks fine tuning the search logic, weighting our search terms, and we now know more about the idiosyncrasies of search logic that we ever thought we would need to.
Mobile search is still not perfect, but it's been a long time coming and we wanted to get it launched and YOU using it, to get your ever-valuable feedback on where it needs more work.


What can you search?

You can search news, sport, radio & television web pages, and if your device supports iPlayer, you can also search iPlayer programmes, by TV or radio. You can filter your results by these categories, and also by relevance and date.

What can't you search?

Currently, you can't search the h2g2 mobile site, or our dynamic /programmes information - the same on the desktop. We're looking to include these areas in future versions of BBC Mobile Search - and if you want to search our programming information, there is already a search for that purpose on www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/tv.

Adding the Search box

If you're using the default mobile homepage (without any customisation ), you'll find the Search box at the bottom. You can move it wherever you want it on the homepage using the customisation feature, as with the other content topics. If you have customised your homepage, you need to click the "Customise your homepage" link to add the Search box to your homepage. It will be automatically added to all users' homepages once it's out of beta.

Try it out, leave us your comments, but most importantly, get where you want quickly , and discover new areas on BBC Mobile.

Ulyssa MacMillan is Executive Producer, Mobile Browser.



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