Finding the Best, and Most Popular, Web Sites

January 2001
by Reid Goldsborough

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In just a decade, the World Wide Web has grown from a physicist’s research project to a gargantuan marketplace contributing hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs to the nation’s economy.
Three billion Web pages, according to market research firm Cyveillance, are now out there for your perusal. Some are more surf-worthy than others.
In recent years, a number of organizations, publications, and Web sites have made qualitative designations of the best Web sites. Such designations are necessarily subjective and sometimes idiosyncratic, but useful nonetheless.
If you’re looking for specific facts, you’re best off drilling down directly with a search engine such as Google. But if you’re browsing categories of information, you’re often better off surfing to sites that have been chosen as the best, by someone, than clicking to sites listed by portals such as AOL, Yahoo, or MSN. Sites may be prominently listed by portals solely because they have business relationships with the portal, not because of the quality or comprehensiveness of the site.
Here’s a roundup of some of the top outfits that have selected top sites. Exploring these selections can be useful not only for perusing the content available, but also (if you’re creating a Web site) for getting ideas.

 

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