Changes to the BBC News website's technology index

You may have noticed that we have made a few changes on our technology index.

We are always looking for ways to improve the user experience for our online services. Access to the BBC's websites should be as straightforward and simple as possible, whether you are visiting a site in the UK or from anywhere in the world.

Looking at user data, we have noticed that readers outside the UK cannot find pages on our bbc.com website in search results as easily as they should - at least for a site of our size.

To help you getting to our site, we are conducting a three month beta trial. From the end of March 2012 you may notice a few changes in our set-up that hopefully address the problem:

  • Our website is published in several international editions, showing you the content that is of most interest to you. We now will give each international edition its own web address (URL). This will make it easier for search engines to find the site, and ensures the URL branding remains consistent and the user experience coherent.
  • Because each international edition has its own URL, we no longer deliver the relevant pages using what is known as GEOIP, where we guess your location. This means the delivery of the pages should be more efficient and accurate.

During the trial we hope to get your feedback and will take your thoughts into account before we decide whether these changes add value to the service.

We believe that these changes can help us to boost the reach of our website outside the UK, which in turn helps our commercial arm BBC Worldwide to optimise revenue without compromising public value.

Of course, as with any trial there are some changes to the user experience - but they will be short term.

  • During the beta phase of the trial, international readers will not be able to comment on articles published by our technology team, including the blog by our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. Readers in the United Kingdom will not be affected by the change.
  • There may also be a slight change to the user journey, and in some cases UK readers may find themselves looking at a web address that says bbc.com instead of the bbc.co.uk address that they are used to.

We will keep you posted how the trial is going, please feel free to share your thoughts with us - email us on SEOfeedback@bbc.com

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