In spring 2010 the paper “Patterns
ROMERO-FRÍAS, E. & VAUGHAN, L. (2010) “Patterns of Web Linking to Heterogeneous Groups of Companies: The Case of Stock Exchange Indexes”. Aslib Proceedings, 62(2): 144-164.
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Purpose – The paper seeks to extend co-link analysis to web sites of heterogeneous companies belonging to different industries and countries, and to cluster companies by industries and compare results from different countries.
Design/methodology/approach – Web sites of 255 companies that belong to five stock exchange indexes were included in the study. Data on co-links pointing to these web sites were gathered using Yahoo!. Co-link data were analyzed using multidimensional scaling (MDS) to generate MDS maps that would position companies based on their co-link counts.
Findings – Comparisons of results across different countries and economies showed the following overall pattern: companies whose businesses are information-based tend to form well-defined clusters, while companies operating on a more traditional business model tend not to form clear groups. A comparison between the EU zone and the USA suggests that the EU economy is not well integrated yet.
Practical implications – The findings from the study suggest the possibility of using co-link analysis to distinguish information-based industries from traditional industries.
Originality/value – The paper extends co-link analysis from a single industry to heterogeneous industries with global and complex business phenomena.