ABCi Uses New Methods, Software to Track Our Internet Surfing Habits

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Marie Kukec Daily Herald Business Writer

Rolling Meadows-based ABC Interactive, a spin off company of the Audit Bureau of Circulations, is partnering with a San Diego-based software firm to use a more-sophisticated browser-based technology for tracking Web site use.

Learning about your surfing habits is crucial to Web businesses as they seek to define their e-commerce activities and figure how to attract potential advertisers and increase income.

Since it was created five years ago, ABCi has been using a customized software that it installs directly on its clients' servers to audit traffic on Web sites. Last week, ABCi added a new software to its auditing repertoire called HitBox Enterprise, which also tracks what Web sites you visit and how often. The difference is, HitBox is browser-based and is not installed on servers.

The only change will be in how your visit will be tabulated. ABCi gathers such information for its 250 clients who have Web sites. If you visit Yahoo.com, CNN.com, CNET.com and other sites that are ABCi clients, you won't notice anything different. ABCi clients also include Terra/Lycos in Spain and StarMedia in Latin America. "We want to be the global market leader in what we do," said ABCi Chief Executive Officer Bruce Smith. "We want to be the gold standard on what people use for third-party verification."

WebSideStory Inc., a San Diego-based software developer for e- commerce, created HitBox. It eliminates the need to install software at each server for the Web site, which is currently required, according to Michael Christian, senior vice president of WebSideStory. …