(8/30/02 6:20 pm)
Top9.com is the Internet's first Search Directory to use consumer intelligence to comprehensively rank the most popular websites by industry category on a monthly basis. Top9.com will change how consumers look for information and products on the Internet - no more wading through useless clutter and broken links. And its simple design will allow consumers to easily surf using PCs, hand-held devices, and WebTV. Top9.com is more than just another online search directory - it is a tool to empower consumers to make smart decisions.
Top9.com is a new business venture of Omega World Travel, which has signed a five-year agreement with PC Data Online for exclusive rights to consumer research intelligence for Top9.com. PC Data Online surveys "unique users" from a panel of over 120,000 real-time home users of the Internet - the largest domestic home panel of any Internet measurement firm. Because of the size of the survey pool, and the independent methodology used by PC Data Online, Top9.com's rankings are based on the most reliable Internet consumer research data available today.
Why do the Internet rating services differ? We feel that PC Data Online represents the best Internet research service today, because they offer the largest user base, and this base generally excludes business users. The two other major services available rely heavily on business users, and have smaller overall user bases. By focusing on consumers, the PC Data results tend to give a more accurate representation of the Internet's usage patterns; we feel the data are more "pure" in how they portray consumer Internet use.
Sites appearing on the "Top9" listings are based on objective rankings; rankings can not be purchased or influenced by outside factors or opinions.
Top9 rankings are based on "unique users," a calculation of the number of unduplicated monthly visitors to a site. A unique user is counted only one time, even if the user logs on to a particular site more than once within the survey period of time. This is different from the number of "page impressions," or "hits" that a site receives, wherein the same user may be counted multiple times. The subcategories, which appear on the Home Page and second level of Top9.com contain the "composite" number of visitors.
The rankings are based on survey data retrieved and categorized during the previous month. Any sites that contain pornographic material have been excluded. More than 45,000 websites have been categorized on Top9.com so far, each listed only once. Many sites could fall under multiple categories; we have placed a company in the category that best represents the majority of their services or products. For example, Amazon.com is located in Auctions & Shopping: Popular Books, which represents their largest business enterprise.
A company with more than one website in the Top9 will be listed only once (such companies are noted with an asterisk). Only publicly available sites are listed; if a site requires a password or membership, it is not displayed. Duplicate or redirected sites are also not listed. All of these sites are, however, configured into overall rankings and visitor ratings, to maintain a realistic and accurate representation of Web traffic.