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Top9.com - Frequently Asked Questions

Being a relatively new site, we at Top9.com get lots of questions. This "Frequently Asked Questions" section lists the most popular questions, with their answers.

Feel free to submit suggestions or comments to Top9.com; we will take ideas and suggestions under advisement as we continue to develop and grow.

Thanks for your interest in Top9.com!

Why do the Top9.com rankings and user figures differ from the other two major internet research data companies?
Data for Top9.com come from PC Data Online, and are based on their own unique methodology. Their user base of 120,000 is the largest in the industry and consists primarily of home users. The other two major data providers use smaller user bases, and rely heavily on business users. This mixed user groups gives a less pure sense of consumer internet usage. Top9.com is all about trying to reflect the most popular sites based on what the average user wants.
Why do figures on Top9.com and PCData differ at times?
Top9.com receives data a few days after it is posted by PCData on their website. It then takes us several more days to classify and qualify the data, and then create over 300 new pages. Also, please note that our pages reflect data collected the previous month. Thus our pages marked "
February," for example, are based on data collected in January.

How can I get my site listed on Top9.com?

Rankings for the "Top9" listing can not be purchased, submitted or influenced; they are based on objective survey methods. If your site is one of the nine most popular sites in its category based on our figures, it will appear in the "Top9" listing.

What are "unique users?"
Top9.com rankings are based on a calculation of the number of unduplicated monthly visitors to a site. An individual "unique user" is counted only once during the survey period for a particular site, no matter how often the individual visits. If a site ranks below 10,000 the unique users number is not shown, since there is a greater margin of error in calculating this figure.

What is "overall Web ranking?"
Every Web site receives an overall ranking among all Web sites. This is the site's relative position to the entire Web listing, regardless of category. For example, say a site has an overall Web ranking of 2,458. This means that of all the millions of Web sites on the Internet, it ranked for the previous month as the 2,458th highest of all the sites.

What does "composite visitors" mean?
"Composite visitors" is simply the sum of all "unique users" for Web sites within a sub-category. Currently, this number is not scientifically compiled; it is used simply for ranking purposes among sub-categories. Eventually this number will be derived scientifically.

What is meant by "URLs in Cat?"
This is simply the total number of URLs we have classified to date for a particular category. Only the top 18 sites are shown in the Top 9 listing each month, although there may be dozens or even hundreds classified in that category.

When are new rankings displayed?
Our goal is to have new monthly rankings appear within ten days after the end of each month. Eventually Top9.com will feature weekly rankings.

What about "(your favorite here)" for a new category?
We have lots of requests to include everyone's favorite category. As Top9.com grows, we will continue to add categories based on their overall popularity. The more popular topics and subjects have more highly ranked sites, and thus are the first to appear.

How are sites ranked?
Many sites are extremely difficult to classify; others fall easily within many categories. We have taken a 'common sense' approach in classification, in which we assess a site based on how the typical consumer would interpret it. Each site appears in only one category. If a site has multiple 'sibling sites,' or if several different URLs lead to the same site, only the highest ranked site is listed.

What are "related sites?"
On each page you will find a listing of "related sites." This is a navigation aid, which lists categories, sub-categories and individual URLs that are closely related to the Top 9 listings on that page.

Why is my site not listed? We get lots of hits...
If your site is not listed under the category you prefer, make sure it is not listed elsewhere. Contact us if you think your site is listed incorrectly. If your site is not listed at all, it is not among the nine highest-ranked sites for that sub-category. Site rankings are provided by PC Data Online. If you feel your site has ranked too low, please visit the PC Data Web site for further explanations and methodologies. Keep in mind that the hit counter on your site will provide a much larger number than will our "unique visitors" ratings. There currently is no provision for analysis of specific Web site traffic.

Other answers and more details on methodology can
be found on the "About Us" page, or on the PC Data Online "Methodology" page.

More information about Top9.com:
Dan Bohan, President, Top9.com
703-359-8868 dbohan@Top9.com

Ann Stephens, President, PC Data,
703-435-1025 astephens@pcdata.com

Top9.com Editor

Top9.com Webmaster

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