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A British company has come up with what it claims to be the first true map of the Web.

The LinkMap will let site owners track inbound links to their sites, and is aimed at deep linking.

The product, from Berkshire-based start-up LinkGuard, is aimed at companies that don't want deep linking - the practice of another site linking to a specific internal page on a Website. LinkGuard says some businesses prefer surfers to go onto their homepage first - to boost their hits, while others are worried about protecting their intellectual property on the Web.

Last year Abbey National and Currys both got their knickers in a twist after their product information appeared on other sites. They claimed the information was wrong.

LinkGuard's 40 terabyte database, due to be released in June, will let people see where all of their inbound links are coming from, and to which pages they point to on their site. The technology will scan the entire Web once every ten days to update the map of links.

It is also aimed at Website owners who want to see which sites are linking to their rivals, or who are keen to see where they should be directing their advertising.

In addition, software can detect broken links on sites and alert the technical department at the relevant company - this service costs 10 cents per page. In future LinkGuard reckons it will offer software that will repair any broken links.

There are an estimated two to three billion pages on the Internet, and around 100 billion links. Around a quarter of all pages have one or more broken links, according to LinkGuard. ®

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