Patterns of web linking to heterogeneous groups of companies: The case of stock exchange indexes
Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives
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Purpose: The paper seeks to extend co-link analysis to web sites of heterogeneous companies belonging to different industries and countries, and to cluster companies by industries and compare results from different countries. Design/methodology/approach: Web sites of 255 companies that belong to five stock exchange indexes were included in the study. Data on co-links pointing to these web sites were gathered using Yahoo!. Co-link data were analyzed using multidimensional scaling (MDS) to generate MDS maps that would position companies based on their co-link counts. Findings: Comparisons of results across different countries and economies showed the following overall pattern: companies whose businesses are information-based tend to form well-defined clusters, while companies operating on a more traditional business model tend not to form clear groups. A comparison between the EU zone and the USA suggests that the EU economy is not well integrated yet. Practical implications: The findings from the study suggest the possibility of using co-link analysis to distinguish information-based industries from traditional industries. Originality/value: The paper extends co-link analysis from a single industry to heterogeneous industries with global and complex business phenomena. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.