BBC Food website closure: what have we lost and who stands to benefit?

BBC Food website closure: what have we lost and who stands to benefit?

May 17, 2016 2:04 pm

Today it was introduced that the BBC Food recipe website is to shut, or at the very least mothballed indirectly.

It accommodates greater than eleven,000 recipes, many taken from the BBC’s meals programming through the years and written by Rick Stein, Nigella Lawson and amongst others.

In brief, it’s a superb useful resource for residence cooks which would appear to completely match with Lord Reith’s unique mission assertion for the BBC: to ‘inform, educate and entertain’.

bbc recipes

It appears that this determination is linked to the current authorities white paper on the BBC, and the accompanying view that the company is over-reaching and competing with newspapers.

I’m not going to get into the politics, however I’m not satisfied newspapers will profit from the shortage of a BBC recipe website.

What will occur to the BBC Food website?

Reports have prompt that the location might be closed, and that new recipes from current TV exhibits will solely be on-line for 30 days.

However, it appears extra difficult than that. Instead, the BBC won’t hyperlink to it, however the recipes will nonetheless be on-line.

This signifies that the recipe search function shall be offline. Indeed, it appears to be proper now, as I get a 503 web page when making an attempt to look by ingredient.

bbc search

Indeed, the BBC has already used the robots <META> tag to nobble the recipe search perform:

bbc robots

This alone makes the recipe website far much less helpful, however the outcomes will quickly vanish from the search engines. I think about we’ll see the identical tags for the eleven,000 or extra pages within the website very quickly.

BBC recipes and search engine optimisation efficiency

This can be welcome information to different websites trying to rank for recipes and associated phrases.

The BBC recipe website performs very properly from an search engine optimization perspective. These are probably the most seen websites throughout a variety of recipe key phrases.

The BBC Good Food website is run by BBC Worldwide (the beeb’s business arm) and is one of the best performing website. The BBC recipe website comes fourth after Jamie Oliver and

BBC seo performance

The BBC is efficient although (you’ll be able to see a chart displaying the phrases it ranks for right here) and ranks persistently nicely for quite a lot of phrases.

consistent performance

This is the results of an efficient inner linking technique, by which the BBC has been linking to hub/class pages.

You can see how this technique works from the best way searches are returning class pages like this relatively than particular person recipes. (Check out this text to see how Mail Online has carried out an analogous hub web page technique).

This signifies that: a) guests can/might see a variety of cake recipes to select from, which is extra helpful and b) hyperlink fairness is distributed extra equally and particular person pages aren’t competing towards one another in Google.


As for which websites will profit, it doesn’t look to be newspapers, however relatively the business recipe websites.

The BBC Good Food website will nonetheless dominate for now, however, ought to all be that little bit extra seen. There’s additionally a chance right here for the supermarkets, any of which have recipe databases.

Comparison recipes

I can’t see this benefitting newspaper’s websites a lot, although The Guardian does function in lots of searches. In half it’s because they’re not so organised. For instance, the Guardian recipe part accommodates all kinds of fantastic recipes, however isn’t searchable and is subsequently much less helpful.

In abstract

Whatever the explanations for and the politics behind this determination, it appears very wasteful to easily abandon such a helpful useful resource by simply de-indexing it.

As Sam Silverwood-Cope from PI Datametrics:

“People would chew your hand off (there’s in all probability not a recipe for that) for this depth and sort of content material, with all of the hyperlinks and web page views, whole companies have been shaped on much less. It can be an amazing disgrace if all these pages have been simply de-listed. At least a redirect again to the primary bulk of the location or to different comparable pages on business websites can be preferable for my part.”

The sheer high quality and measurement of the archive means we’ll see numerous mirror websites utilizing this content material for their very own functions. The British Library plans to archive the recipes, however they’ll even be showing elsewhere little question.

Looking on the search efficiency, the shortage of recipes pages from presents a chance for others. Those websites that are already established (Jamie Oliver, and so forth) ought to see their rankings and search visitors enhance, whereas I’d anticipate to see extra outcomes from supermarkets for recipe searches.

That stated, any recipe website with an search engine optimization finances can study from the issues that BBC recipes did nicely, and profit from its disappearance.

You may also like...