Proceedings of the AoIR-ASIST 2004 Workshop on Web Science Research Methods
The Web Impact Factor: Advantages and Disadvantages
AliReza Noruzi, Scholar of Library and Information Science Department, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, www.noruzi.itgo.com, nouruzi @ hotmail.com
In this paper we try to analyse the link-based web site impact measure known as the Web Impact Factor (WIF). The Web Impact Factor is a quantitative tool for ranking, evaluating, categorizing, and comparing Web sites, Web pages, top level domains and all Web spaces. Essentially, it evaluates Web site impact through inlink counts, i.e. the number of links that point to the site.
A key to Webometric studies has been the use of large-scale Web search engines such as AllTheWeb and AltaVista that allow measurements to be made of the total number of pages in a Web site and the total number of links to a Web site. These search engines provide similar possibilities for the investigation of links between Web sites/pages to those provided by the academic journal citation databases by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI). But the content of the Web is not of the same quality as the databases maintained by the ISI.
It has been suggested that Web Impact Factors can be calculated as a way of comparing the attractiveness of Web sites or domains on the World Wide Web. We discuss the WIF’s advantages and disadvantages, data collection problems, and validity and reliability of WIF results. This paper reviews how this link-based metric has been developed, enhanced and applied.