Over the last couple of weeks, Martin Belam has been reviewing the search functionality on UK newpaper web sites. He has now published his conclusions. The article also links to detailed individual entries on each paper surveyed.
Some of his findings are quite surprising. Papers who aren’t seen as particularly web-savvy did well in some areas.
The Daily Mail and This Is London, for example, were the only sites to colour code search results in tune with the site’s colour coded navigation. I felt this worked really well, and contributed to my verdict that the Daily Mail’s search engine result listings were the clearest of all the newspaper sites that I tested.
The Sun offered several pieces of information in their search results page that were unique – an article word count, and the code of the edition and page number within that edition of where the article first appeared in print. Of these I felt only the former was of much use to the casual user.
All in all a very useful piece. And one that deserves to be widely distributed.
Reminds me that I was planning the review the quality ok UK newpaper RSS feeds. Must get round to that one day…