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Akamai Launches Internet News Tracking Index

Akamai, a significant behind-the-scenes provider of Internet technology, said Thursday that it is launching a consumer-oriented index that will track usage of news being delivered by major news organizations.

Called the Akamai Net Usage Index for News, the service will track and then display for users who log onto its site, daily reports on aggregate visits to news sites and where in the world the news is being consumed, the company said.

The index is a departure for Akamai, which is a delivery platform for more than 100 global news sites, and it could begin bumping against some strong companies including Google. "Google's stated mission is to index all the information in the world," Peter Christy, principal at the Internet Research Group, told the Boston Globe. "What Akamai is saying is 'how about indexing all the information in motion?'"

Akamai said the index won't gather information on individual Internet consumers, but will simply measure Internet traffic on news consumption by geography. "This representative data will provide details on which world events drove the most end users to online news destinations," the firm's announcement stated. "Analysis of the data will assist in chronicling which news stories captured the greatest levels of attention over periods of time."