There is plenty of elbow room in the NASDAQ Internet Index this morning. In its annual evaluation, the makeover finds webhosting specialist Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) added to the gauge.

Unfortunately, the lone addition is more than offset by 14 stocks that are being booted from the index.

If you want to bow your head and mourn the metric's dearly departed:

  • Art Technology Group
  • Dice Holdings
  • Global Sources
  • Limelight Networks
  • ModusLink Global Solutions
  • Online Resources
  • Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW)
  • RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK)
  • Terremark Worldwide
  • Group

There are dozens of Web companies that remain on the weighted index, but this is quite the purge. From travel portal Orbitz Worldwide to e-prescriber Zix to jewel auctioneer, it's an unusually large sum of stocks being booted from the index.

Why? It's not as if dot-com stocks are the only equities that have been hammered in recent months. The carnage isn't necessarily that bad, with 10 of the 14 stocks commanding market caps of $100 million or greater.

Many of the companies being tossed out of the index are probably more relevant today than they were a year ago.

Probably making this sting even more is that the one company that was added -- Rackspace -- was likely added only because it wasn't public a year ago. The fast-growing hosting company had its IPO over the summer.

So, what's it going to take to add more names than get subtracted next year? Will it have to be a sector rally to prop back up the valuations, or are we down to hoping that Facebook or Twitter goes public?

Somehow, it just doesn't seem right. Even if the index isn't necessarily widely followed, it's a vote of "no confidence" in a sector that matters more now than ever.

Other ways to go public: