Web visitors tossing cookies

More and more often, Web surfers are blocking cookies, preventing companies from measuring what's popular with visitors and improving their efforts to woo them.

Web analysis company WebTrends says that blocking cookies has increased fourfold since January of last year. That may sound like good news for consumers--no more Big Brother watching what you're doing or bothering you with ads you don't care about.

The ironic point is that, when used correctly, cookies can be helpful--they can give companies a better sense of what's important to site visitors and allow them to present visitors with more pertinent information.

The increase in the cookie blocking trend comes partly as a result of new browsers that allow visitors to set blocking as a feature or to delete them more easily.

WebTrends' latest version of its software--version 7.5, to be released in the first part of June and to be announced on Monday--allows companies who want to use cookies to serve up more useful content to prevent these blocking tactics.

It doesn't sound right, but sometimes cookies can be good for you.

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