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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
BBC launches net search engine
Internet user, BBC
The BBC search engine gives priority to UK sites
The BBC has launched a new internet search engine after research showed the majority of UK web users were dissatisfied with current search options.

BBCi Search, available from the homepage, provides results free of advertising and commercial constraints.

A recent survey by National Opinion Polls (NOP), commissioned by the BBC, found 80% of British web surfers felt current search engines could be improved.

The current search marketplace doesn't have the needs of internet users at its heart

Ashley Highfield, BBC New Media director
It also discovered that 64% were frustrated by the amount of US sites and advertisers they came across.

In response, the BBC search engine jointly delivers UK and foreign websites, but with hierarchical preference given to the most relevant UK destinations.

Director of BBC New Media Ashley Highfield said: "It is quite clear that the current search marketplace doesn't have the needs of internet users at its heart.

"The BBC, with its 80 years of know-how and editorial expertise is ideally placed to provide a UK-focused search engine that will not be tainted by paid-for results.

Pornography filter

"Given that 90% of respondents to the independent survey stated that they would use the BBC search engine, and that a similar number said they would prefer unbiased search, it is evidently something that people want."

BBCi Search addresses parental concerns regarding children accessing pornographic/derogatory websites.

BBC website, BBC
BBCi Search has no adverts
Sophisticated software is used to remove such material from the search database, enabling BBCi to provide the most "family friendly" search facility on the web.

Results can be filtered to look across the whole of the world wide web or can be narrowed down to look only across the BBCi news and sports sites, or the whole of the BBCi site.

NOP interviewed about 500 people in April for its poll.

The sample was weighted in line with the national demographic profile and was designed to be representative of all adults in the UK.

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