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Web 21 starts its own hit parade

Web 21's 100hot says it's the first directory to rank traffic according to hit rates.

Almost anybody can put up a list of their favorite links, but a newly formed company called Web 21 says its compilation is different.

The 100hot Web site claims to be the first and only directory that tracks traffic to various sites around the world and then ranks them according to popularity. Web 21, founded by former Silicon Graphics executive Bert Fornaciari, uses a combination of server logs, surveys, and traffic samples to create summaries of activity at a given site to determine the top 100 results. According to Fornaciari, the top ten categories are determined by statistics gathered from three search engines.

"We wanted a way to benchmark and compare sites," he said. "We came across a method using server logs and traffic samples, and the blending gives a page hit estimate for those sites."

Fornaciari feels the information will be especially useful for Webmasters because they will be able to see what kind of content is generating traffic at competitors' sites and budget their own space and money accordingly.

As for advertisers, Fornaciari says that Web 21's reports might be a first place to look but that specialized software for tracking hits on individual sites is still necessary to judge the impact of a given ad.

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