Stories by Tim Horgan, Lew McCreary and Polly Schneider

Net Gains

How does one pick a winner on the web these days, anyway? When judging CIO's fourth annual 50/50 Web Business awards, we faced a burning question: What really matters today on the Web, as opposed to three, six or 12 months ago? Every year, the criteria for these awards have evolved to reflect the turmoil in the marketplace--which means that finding a winning Web strategy remains elusive. After all, not even Inc.'s Jeff Bezos has the formula yet. n Four years ago, it was enough to have a killer-looking marketing site with snazzy graphics, lots of links and a rudimentary search engine.