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Nielsen beefs up its Web research

Nielsen/NetRatings, which measures traffic to Web sites, said Wednesday that it will introduce a new global research panel to size up the habits of Web surfers in greater detail, in a move to better compete with rival ComScore Media Metrix.

The New York-based research company said it will unveil MegaPanel in the United States in the second quarter of 2003. MegaPanel data on Web surfing habits will be drawn from 1 million people in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It will extrapolate consumer behaviors and attitudes about Web sites, online customer service and Internet shopping based on targeted surveys of the panelists. "With MegaPanel, we can do a much broader range of market research without affecting the quality of our core audience rankings," said Sean Kaldor, Nielsen's vice president of marketing.