UK Plus redesigns to improve access times

UK Plus, the Web directory service owned by Associated Newspapers, has stripped down its graphic content as part of a revamp aimed at improving access time for users.

The site redesign also features improved search functions for users trying to pinpoint harder-to-find content on the Web.

Paul Zwillenberg, managing director of Associated Electronic Publishing, says the changes are designed to maintain the site’s competitive edge over other popular UK navigational sites.

He insists that improved download times will actually lengthen the time Web surfers spend moving back and forth from the UK Plus site (www.ukplus.co.uk), and will increase the delivery of page impressions by UK Plus to advertisers.

“We think the site should now work about 50 per cent faster,” says Zwillenberg.

“We have already noticed that page views per visit went up 20 per cent on the day the change was introduced,” he adds.

Moves to improve the ad-supported site (www.ukplus.co.uk) follows only six months after its launch. During that time, UK Plus claims to have established itself as the number two UK navigational service, behind Yahoo! UK and Ireland, but ahead of Yellow Pages’ Yell site, EMAP’s Internet Directory UK, and a recently established UK version of the Excite search service.

UK Plus has yet to publish officially audited audience data for its site. But Zwillenberg says he expects the Audit Bureau of Circulations to begin work soon on an audit which will provide advertisers with third-party validation of audience size and banner ad impacts generated by UK Plus. The audit will measure traffic on both UK Plus and the UK version of its search engine partner Infoseek.

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