The annual siteIQ eBusiness rankings just hit the airwaves. This year’s report is a whopper. 95 pages, 108 graphs – and our usual politically incorrect take on what it all means.

Here’s how some of the 2011 rankings shake out.

2011 | eBusiness Index | Star Rating

Overall Performance. IBM.com and Cisco.com share the winner’s podium.

2011 was the year that IBM.com transformed itself from a large, aging duckling into a swan to be reckoned with (at least above the water line). There’s been many a late night for the IBM.com team—and the “wow” factor inherent in its new design has gone a long way toward keeping it in the top slot this year.

It’s been many a moon since Cisco.com had its overnight makeover—but this team’s intrepid iterative design strategy keeps this site fresh and innovative season after season. Cisco.com has building a better mousetrap down to a science—and that’s why it bumped IBM.com over and shares the #1 spotlight this year.

Usability & Effectiveness | The best hold their own

It’s no surprise that the overall winners—IBM.com and Cisco.com—also aced the usability & effectiveness tests. Both teams have been busy performing some pretty substantial site facelifts over the past year—and their high wire acts paid some nice dividends.

CA.com, IBM Software Group and Symantec.com complete the top five usability roster. CA.com held its own (third place), IBM Software jumped into fourth (from 6th), and Symantec.com — last year’s usability darling — slipped from third to fifth.

Symantec.com’s fall from grace sounds like bad news for the team, but it’s actually a bit of high praise. After all, most of the Symantec.com site hasn’t really changed much over the past 36 months. That’s a virtual lifetime in Internet years. Staying in the top five is a testament to all of the hard work that went into this site’s base design and architecture. But times are changing—and it will be interesting to see if Symantec.com can keep up.

Content, features & capabilities | The same dance continues and Dell finally gets its bragging rights.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Which is the biggest Website of all? Once the mist in the mirror clears, you’ll be looking at HP.com. In fact, this year, HP.com succeeded in getting the top spot all to itself by bumping off its long-standing 80 pound rival gorilla IBM.com. If you squint real hard in the mirror, you’ll see Cisco.com quietly making the donuts in third place.

While IBM, HP, and Cisco executed their complex kabuki dances, Dell.com was busy thumping some other sites down the Index. This year, it took the top spot in the online support category after watching HP and IBM toss the winner’s baton back and forth. We’ve always challenged Dell.com’s self-proclaimed assertion that its support was the biggest & best in the business. Now it’s (partially) true.

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