New Delhi : You wouldn't even know they existed if you didn't search or run into them. And yet, every day, millions of Indians visit these useful corners in cyberspace.
"The Web is going to become our way of life in India," says the Bangalore-published Indian edition of PC WORLD (www.pcworld.in) magazine, which has just put together a list of what it judged as the "best Indian websites 2007".
There are many, in varied categories. Indian brands of global websites have also become popular.
In the gaming sphere, PC WORLD said Yahoo!games had become "quite a hit with youngsters" with its games like pool, literati (a scrabble clone), chess and Reversi.
Reliance also has Zapak.com, and there is Indiagames.com and Funtoosh.com. But Yahoo!games was top, the magazine said.
In the 'flowers and gifts' categories, fernsnpetals.com topped. Others to be noted were Rajindra Florist, and the shopping portal indiaplaza.in
Cricket, India's unofficial national sport, also has websites devoted to it. These are ESPN STAR, Cricinfo.com and CricketNext.com.
Newspaper portals are also "not far behind", it said.
Crickinfo.com topped in terms of technology usage and overall performance, while espnstar.com was rated best for design.
For shopping, futurebazaar.com topped for design and overall performance while ebay.co.in was best on technology usage.
"This was one of the few categories where we saw very keen competition with different winners for design, technology and overall performance," said PC WORLD. "Long term veterans Rediff, Indiatimes and Sify were more than okay in their performance, and trailed very close behind futurebazar.com."
Google.com-linked global giant Gmail topped for overall performance in the category of email. Crafted-by-an-Indian, Hotmail was once the only free speciality e-mail service.
For those wanting email services, PC WORLD says homegrown Rediff and Sify "also have a loyal fan following, but they are not too high on the popularity charts". Others evaluated were Indiatimes, Yahoo India, Epatra and MSN India.
In real estate, indiaproperty.com topped. Others in the category were MagicBricks.com, 99acres.com and IndiaProperties.com.
On the technology front, tech2.com "emerged as the clear winner". Techtree.com was "one of the fore-runners" in this category. CIOL.com was "quite comprehensive" in certain categories, and ZDNetIndia.com had a "clean interface and is easy to navigate".
Some other prominent sites inlcuded Yahoo!, MSN, Sify, Indya, Indiatimes and Rediff (popular portals); MonsterIndia.com, Naukri.com, Jobsahead.com, Job Street, Click Jobs and Times Jobs (job-related sites); MingleBox, Yaari, Sulekha, Rediff, MSN SPaces, Yahoo India and Orkut (social networking).
Orkut.com isn't Indian, but there is a strong participation from this country on it.
Yahoo.co.in emerged as the best portal.
PC WORLD also pointed to aggregators: Bixee.com searching through various job sites for openings matching your criteria. Zoomtra.com makes your search for the lowest airfare easier.