Siemens tops FT Bowen Craggs Web site rankings

LONDON: FT Bowen Craggs Index of corporate Web sites named Siemens its top pick for the second year in a row.

LONDON: FT Bowen Craggs Index of corporate Web sites named Siemens its top pick for the second year in a row.

David Bowen, senior consultant at Bowen Craggs, called the Siemens Web site “carefully bound together” and appropriate for them as a high-tech company. Siemens added multimedia elements since last year when it won the inaugural FT Bowen Craggs Index.

US companies once again lagged behind European ones (Siemens is one of eight European companies in the top 10), because these sites lacked cohesiveness. Even Google (No. 11 in the index) showed vulnerability in this area, Bowen said.

“Americans are much more hands off,” he said. “Google has good content, but try to move between them. You can't. It very much reflects the famous Google culture of let everyone do their own thing.

US sites might be catching on, though.

“But in the last year, we started to see American companies go the same route as the Europeans,” Bowen said.

The Index ranks 75 of the top international companies from the Financial Times' Global 500 list, reported in the FT Report Digital Business 2008 section. Bowen Craggs, a UK-based Web consultancy business, conducts it, measuring how well the world's largest companies use corporate Web sites to serve customers, the media, investors, jobseekers, and society through discussion of social responsibility issues. Messaging and construction are also taken into account during the 10-hour-per-site judging process.

Bowen says the agency started the Index last year because companies wanted some measure of how good its Web site really was.

“It's difficult to measure because there's no obvious financial return,” Bowen said. “But we knew there was a demand for some sort of measurement that was credible that the bosses would see.”

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