It is common for an international company to have different brands, products or services, information for investors, a corporate blog, affiliates, branches in different countries, etc. If all these contents appear as independent additional web domains (AWDs), the company should be represented on the web by all these web domains, since many of these AWDs may acquire remarkable performance that could mask or distort the real web performance of the company, affecting therefore on the understanding of web metrics. The purpose of this paper is to determine the amount, type, web impact and topology of the AWDs in commercial companies in order to get a better understanding on their complete web impact and structure.
The set of companies belonging to the Spanish IBEX-35 stock index has been analysed as testing bench. The authors proceeded to identify and categorise all AWDs belonging to these companies, and to apply both web impact (web presence and visibility) and network metrics.
The results show that AWDs get a high web presence but relatively low web visibility, due to certain opacity or less dissemination of some AWDs favoring its isolation. This is verified by the low network density values obtained, that occur because AWDs are strongly connected with the corporate domain (although asymmetrically), but very weakly linked each other.
The categories used to classify the various AWD, although they are clearly distinguishable conceptually, have certain limitations in practice, since they depend on the form adopted by companies to publish certain content or to provide certain services or products. Otherwise, the use of web indicators presents certain problems of accuracy that could be softened if applied with caution and in a relational basis.
Although the processes of AWDs creation and categorisation are complex (web policy seems not to be driven by a defined or conscious plan), their influence on the web performance of IBEX 35 companies is meaningful. This research measures the AWDs influence on companies under webometric terms for the first time.
This research has been funded under the project APOSTD/2013/002 from the Regional Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (Generalitat Valenciana) in Spain.
Orduña-Malea, E., Delgado López-Cózar, E., Serrano-Cobos, J. and Romero, N. (2015), "Disclosing the network structure of private companies on the web: The case of Spanish IBEX 35 share index", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 360-382. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-11-2014-0282Download as .RIS
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