Finding basic information about a business is a no-brainer these days. Rare is the company that does not have a Web site chock full of contact information, sales pitches and pat-on-the-back press releases. Rare also, however, is the company that reveals its missed deals, legal problems, sinking stock price and plummeting employee morale on its site. To get this sort of hush-hush — and often vital — information, one must look elsewhere.

Fortunately, the search need not be a long one. Corporate news, rumors, data and gossip have been found on the Web for years. Often, however, they were found all over the Web. And that was the problem: Finding specific information on a specific company was sort of like hunting for a particular needle in a stack of needles.