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  • 1 Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada
  • | 2 Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario London, Ontario (Canada) London, Ontario (Canada)
  • | 3 Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario London, Ontario (Canada) London, Ontario (Canada)
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Summary  

Motivations for the creation of hyperlinks to business sites were analyzed through a content analysis approach. Links to 280 North American IT companies (71 Canadian companies and 209 U.S. companies) were searched through Yahoo!. Then a random sample of 808 links was taken from the links retrieved. The content as well as the context of each link was manually examined to determine why the link was created. The country location and the type of the site where the link came from were also identified. The study found that most links were created for business purposes confirming findings from early quantitative studies that links contain useful business information. Links to competitors were extremely rare but competitors were often co-linked, suggesting that co-link analysis is the direction to pursue for information on competitive intelligence.