Examining the robustness of web co-link analysis
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the robustness of web co-link analysis for business intelligence. Design/methodology/approach - The method is tested in two different Chinese industries, the electronics/IT industry and the chemical industry. Web co-link data are collected in two different time periods from a different search engine in each period. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is used to map the co-link data into business competition positions. Findings - Web co-link analysis is fairly robust in that the mapping results reflect fairly well the business competition landscape for both industries and in both time periods. The mapping results are better when the data collection is restricted to Chinese language webpages only. The study also finds that the Chinese webpages are very consumer-oriented, a phenomenon that is not seen in previous studies of international companies. Originality/value - This paper contributes to the understanding of the robustness and applicability of the co-link analysis method. The method is useful for business intelligence and can also be applied to the non-business environment. The paper also contributes to the understanding of a specific Chinese web phenomenon. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.