Editor’s note: This is the second of a series of columns on the business of the Internet by T.C. Webster, a veteran journalist and entrepreneur.

Alexa.com, the free Internet ranking service produced by Amazon.com, has some competition.

It’s called TrafficRanking.com. It’s not as sophisticated as Alexa, not as much fun to use and apparently doesn’t operate on a sampling as large as Alexa. But, for comparison purposes, it’s worth checking. For those of you dying to know how big your website is versus the competition, this is one more site to check.

Unlike Alexa, TrafficRanking.com only does calculations on the top 720,000 most visited websites, though it plans to expand.

And there are surprisingly few places to go on the Net, these days, for public information.

A few years ago, during the Internet boom, there were all kinds of experiments in ranking websites – using traffic as criteria or popularity or loyalty. Most of them have gone bust. Even many of the paid ratings services have gone into Chapter 11.

Where does WorldNetDaily rank, according to TrafficRanking.com? Ranked by visits, the default formula used by the site, WorldNetDaily emerges as the 642nd largest site on the Net. WND.com, WorldNetDaily’s mirror site, used by about 25 percent of users, ranks separately just below 6,000. Just imagine where the site might appear if TrafficRanking.com could view these sites as one – which they are.

Bill O’Reilly took cable news by storm, rising quickly to become the No. 1 show and helping his Fox News Network topple CNN from its comfortable perch. He also became a No. 1 best-selling author – twice! He then parlayed that success into a syndicated column – one of the fastest-growing in the country. But what about his experience on the Internet to date?

A few months ago, O’Reilly kicked off Billoreilly.com. He severed his contract with WorldNetDaily as the flagship home of his weekly column on the Net and moved it over to his own site. He trumpeted the launch on his radio show and on his television show. You might think the site would be a huge success by now. But you’d be wrong.

According to the latest Alexa.com ratings, Billoreilly.com is ranked 39,611 among all websites in the world – and falling! That’s right, the three-month average places the site among the top 40,000 websites, but its recent rankings, despite massive promotion on TV and radio, show the site falling off the charts. Last week’s average, for instance, had it ranked at 86,811.

What was the No. 1 “mover and shaker” website in the world last week?

Think about it and you won’t be surprised. The site that made the biggest positive jump up the charts, according to Alexa.com, was Superbowl.com. The site’s weekly traffic rank was 898, while its average rank over the last three months was 4,871.

To put that in perspective, Superbowl.com ranked nearly as high as WorldNetDaily on the webcharts last week. WND’s ranking was 850. And, no doubt, as we get closer to the SuperBowl on Jan. 26, this site’s ranking is likely to rise even higher.

Whatever happened to … ArtBell.com? ArtBell.com was one of the early entries into websites tied to successful radio programs. And it was big! Its average ranking, according to Alexa.com, is 2,705, but last week it was averaging 13,085 – a precipitous drop. In fact, ArtBell.com no long exists. It has vanished just like those UFOs that have been such a big part of the site for so long. It is now nothing more than a referring domain to CoasttoCoastam.com, the radio show that continues with hosts other than Art Bell.

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