Does WebSite quality track with company size and reputation? How well do big companies WebSites rank? Can we learn something by studying the technical properties of these big WebSites? By comparing them, one against another? We did this -- using data collected from the FT-150 (see below). We think you'll find the results illuminating!
We aimed to compare a set of WebSites for their technical quality as measured from typical user's perspective. To accomplish this we applied a set of tests of mechanical and technical features of each WebSite that investigate two important WebSite quality attributes: the ease of user navigation, and the quality of WebSite maintenance. Here's how these are defined:
Crunching The Numbers
We used the eValid WebSite analysis engine, programmed as described below, to collect specific metrics that contribute to these factors. We put the data into a spreadsheet and massaged the data in a number of ways. For simplicity all the data values were converted to normalized relative values. After computing the scores for the two dimensions [0%-100%, with 100% being the best possible score for that factor] we multipled the two values Qn and Qm to arrive at the Total Quality Score = Qn * Qm, the value used to find the Quality Rank.
Here's what we found out!
Observations and Comments
There are many aspects of this data that are surprising and unusual. Here are some of our observations:
About Our Measurements
We began our work in August 2003 when the UK's Financial Times newspaper asked BlueRiverStone and eValid to survey and compare the WebSites of the top 150 of Fortune Magazine's Fortune 500 Companies. That survey involved both technical comparisons [this report] and other assessments [to be published later].
To assure comparability of the technical analysis data, all the eValid site analysis runs were made serially during normal working hours on the same Windows 2000/Professional machine using a dedicated 386 Kbps DSL.
The 150+ eValid runs were all limited (using eValid's site analysis setup and control menus) to analyze only the first 1000 pages out to depth 3 from the top page on the site. If you'd like to look at the full set of eValid preferences used, the blocked URL file use, and the complete set of raw data used in the above survey please let us know.