BBC stops trying to be Google, abandons web search

After being ordered by its BBC Trust to reconsider whether it really wants to do a poor imitation of Google (NSDQ: GOOG), the BBC has decided to drop its external web search tool, which was tucked away in some dark corners of its sprawling website.

BBC online controller Seetha Kumar: “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.”

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