As an investor, it doesn't pay to follow the crowd.

In this series, though, we highlight a possible exception -- the collective wisdom of our CAPS community. Read the next section if you're unfamiliar with our methodology. Skip it if you want to go straight to the results.

Why this crowd is different
Jumping into a stock because your rich neighbor did, or because you heard about it from your friend's uncle who used to work on Wall Street, or because CNBC has been talking about it nonstop is a recipe for disaster.

If there's one thing I've learned as a stock analyst, it's that any stock can be gussied up to sound like a world-beater. If there's a second thing I've learned, it's that being a smart person doesn't make you a good investor.

In the hands of a smart person with good communication skills, the never-were and never-will-be stocks sound like tickets to instant fortune. The ancient Greek philosophers made the distinction between rhetoric and knowledge. The former is convincing; the latter is true.

That's why we factor in track record in our Motley Fool CAPS community. We invite everyone to give stocks an outperform (i.e., a "buy") or underperform rating (i.e., a "sell") in CAPS. We then use those opinions to calculate a rating for each stock -- from one to five stars (five being the best). But -- and this is a big distinction -- we give more weight to the opinions of folks whose picks have performed well in the past.

The top 10 Internet buys
So, with that methodology as prelude, I present to you the top 10 Internet-related stocks based on the number of CAPS members who have rated the stock an outperform. I only included four- and five-star rated stocks. That's why three-star Google doesn't make the list despite being the top vote-getter.

Company

Market Capitalization
(in Millions)

Outperform Picks

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM)

    $8,061

  2,921

****

Sohu.com (Nasdaq: SOHU)

    $1,778

  1,096

****

CDC Corp. (Nasdaq: CHINA)

    $164

  835

****

SINA Corp. (Nasdaq: SINA)

    $2,599

   716

****

ClickSoftware Technologies (Nasdaq: CKSW)

    $169

   550

*****

j2 Global Communications (Nasdaq: JCOM)

    $1,050

   445

****

Health Grades (Nasdaq: HGRD)

    $250

   402

*****

Rackspace Hosting

    $2,353

   356

****

Art Technology Group

    $539

   302

****

Digital River

    $1,057

   290

*****

Source: Motley Fool CAPS.

More CAPS members think Akamai is a buy than any other four- or five-star-rated Internet stock. Do you think the rankings are wrong? Make your thoughts known in CAPS by clicking here. Or just go there to do further research on one of these popular stocks.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Akamai Technologies, Google, Rackspace Hosting, and Sohu.com are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. SINA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Google. The Fool has a disclosure policy.