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BizReport : Research archives : November 17, 2006

WebSideStory: Give Popularity A Try

Think you left peer pressure behind in high school? Think again. A new content publishing platform from WebSideStory is bringing popularity back by allowing the inclusion or exclusion of content based on visitor behavior.

by Kristina Knight

Here’s how it works: the WebSideStory Publish 4.0 platform allows the most viewed content from a site to be elevated to top dog status. Meanwhile, the less viewed content can be sent to the archives or disappear entirely – all based on viewer preferences.

"Popularity is becoming a standard part of the navigation of a website," said Steve Kusmer, general manager of WebSideStory's search and content solutions (via MarketingVOX). "It's like a dynamic site map, showing what most people are doing once they get to a site."

Does the change help or hinder the all-content promise of the Internet? Yes and no.

On the help side, webmasters can replace little used areas of their sites by highlighting the most popular downloads, search results and general pages. By automatically creating lists of popular site pages, newcomers and regular visitors will have direction once they land on the site.

On the hinder side, overuse of the popularity platform could create a very generic website. By giving users a listing of favorite places or popular devices, owners tell them they don’t need to explore the site. And individual site exploration is what keeps users coming back.

Tags: content publishing, WebSideStory

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