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Updated: In.com And Traffic Tactics: Why Comparing In.com With Rediff Is Incorrect

Web18* owned In.com, according to a report in Afaqs, has surpassed Rediff.com, in terms of Unique visitors worldwide. Do check the report for exact numbers from Comscore. With this, In.com can lay claim to being the largest Indian portal. But is this comparison really right? In.com isn't really entirely a content site - much of its news content is sourced from, linked to, and hotlinked from sites; as the Afaqs report also clarifies, In.com aggregates traffic for it's major online publications - Ibnlive.in.com, Cricketnext.in.com* and Tech2.in.com, a process which it began in 2008. Sure, competitor Indiatimes and Rediff also aggregate traffic across multiple websites on its site, but most of them are their own websites. Some of In.com's traffic, specifically at Connect.in.com, is being aggregated in the following ways, not necessarily fair to content owners: -  Traffic From Hot Linking Images That May Be Under Copyright: In.com creates photo galleries hotlinking images that may have been published by someone else, on some other website, and aren't owned by Web18. Naina Redhu of  Studio Aside recently wrote about Web18 using her photographs at In.com without her permission. The images were being served from her website, utilizing her bandwidth. I had emailed senior Web18 executives, including CEO Lakshmi Narasimhan about the same, following which the images were removed. Here's another instance of copyright issues. In.com clearly hasn't stopped hot-linking. This image of Jennifer Aniston is hot-linked from the La Times blog, via another site hotlinking it. In.com is not serving images as search results, but creating content…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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