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It seems like it could be the Inktomi index, but the serps are very different.
They have also taken away the option to search only on UK results.
Anyone have any further information?
Yes, they make a fortune. Firstly, they charge us a TV licence fee which supposedly covers BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4 etc..., plus Radio 1,2,3,4,5Live and all the local BBC radio stations. Apparently we don't pay enough to cover this.
So they make money other ways - they sell CDs of music from their programmes, videos and DVDs of their own programmes, they run live music concerts and roadshows, get their own magazines printed (such as Top Gear for example, there are loads of magazines), which when added to the licence fee makes them lots of money.... which then gets spent on expensive sports and so on...
Yeah, I figured people pay TV licenses ;) That's partly why I ask in the first place. BBC are restricted in the ways they make money because they have that competitive advantage - the fact that the public gives them billions a year.
The BBC are allowed to make money from selling merchandise or programmes otherwise the licence fee will increase, however, they are NOT allowed to make a profit. For those interested, here's the BBC report in PDF format. [bbc.co.uk]
I recently had to cancel an order with a (well-known) UK host with a full UK setup that turned out, at the eleventh hour, to be allocating non-UK Ip's to their 'nix hosting.
joined:Jan 27, 2003
Hey, calm down Lotus ;)
The recommended sites are ones reviewed by BBC editors - no-one said that they couldn't be commercial. The BBC aren't tracking clickthroughs so there's no way they're making money from it as far as I can tell. I agree it's a bit strange for blatantly commercial search terms, but if their editor likes the site, why can't they recommend it?
BBCi guidelines here [bbc.co.uk]
I totally disagree with you on this one. The BBC cannot do this and then hide behind an editor by saying he thinks it is a good site. The industry selling cheap flights is highly competetive and this is a definite breach by the BBC. It is opening the door wide for Corporate Corruption. I have just phoned this through to the Daily Miror and they are most interested.
Also, the Ink index used seems very fresh. I amended the title of a home page last week and it is now showing up in the BBCi index (home page uses Positiontech Ink 24hr refresh).
For this site however, it's just an advice site, i didn't realise they recommended commercial sites...
joined:Jan 27, 2003
I can see that they are on slightly shaky ground, although I can't see that this example breaks their guidelines:
Recommended sites should be:
"the best website to answer your search query"
and not "Sell you things but don't tell you things"
Both sites DO have siginificant free content, although, again, I agree with you that the weighting of commercial vs free content on the first site is not very balanced.
However, my question would be, do the sites recommended provide useful information to a bbci searcher looking for cheap flights, and I feel the answer has to be yes.
But surely the crucial point is that the bbc don't stand to profit from these links. They need to provide high quality, preferably recommended sites to their visitors whether they are looking for cheap flights or homework help.
Also the bbc return recommended sites for a wide variety of commercial areas, cheap flights is by no means the most obvious example.
>>the Daily Miror...are most interested
Hehe, have they not found any statues of elvis on Mars this week? ;)
joined:Jan 27, 2003
Me too - your example is definitely on the borderline of what the bbc should or shouldn't be allowed to do.
>>who says they are allowed to make up there own guidelines
Just thinking of the practicalities, it's not feasible for us (the license payers) to make the regulations. For one thing we don't have the specialised knowledge of either the bbc or broadcasting etc, for another the time involved would make this near impossible without large volunteer groups.
I think it's a case of voting with your feet - if you don't like what they're doing, don't pay the fee. I know it isn't a simple as that (especially considering cases where people simply own a TV and don't watch the beeb and are still forced to pay licenses.)
Wouldn't this be a question for OFTEL or someone similar?
I'm surprised - this seems an odd decision. And I still think the Ink SERPS are pretty thin beer, at least the ones that Auntie is currently showing.