(Note: The ideal measurement would use profit instead of revenue and payroll instead of employee headcount. But those are tougher numbers to find for obvious reasons.)

After the jump: The story behind this chart.

The Calacanis/DHH discussion touched on the idea that web companies should pay more attention to unique visitors per employee. The theory: That ratio forces you to get away from talking sheer size/traffic and instead focus on efficiency.

Now a while back we posted about this idea. Back then (2006), Craigslist was the king of getting traffic while keeping employee count low. The Top Sites landscape has changed since then though. Let’s take a look at some notable sites and how many employees they have today.

Rank  Site  Employees
1  google  19,835
2  facebook  1,200
4  yahoo  13,900
11  twitter  175
21  amazon  24,300
25  ebay  16,400
36  craigslist  30

(Site rank via Alexa. Employee headcounts via Yahoo! Finance except where otherwise linked.)

But how important is site rank really? Amazon may get less traffic than a media site, but they’re actually selling something and making more money. The bottom line should be the bottom line.

So let’s take those same companies and add annual revenues into the picture:

Rank  Site  Employees  Revenue
1  google  19,835  $23,650,000,000
2  facebook  1,200  $1,100,000,000
4  yahoo  13,900  $6,460,000,000
11  twitter  175  $25,000,000
21  amazon  24,300  $24,510,000,000
25  ebay  16,400  $8,730,000,000
36  craigslist  30  $100,000,000

(Revenue figures via Yahoo! Finance except where otherwise linked.)

Dividing revenue by employee gives us a better look at which companies are the most efficient. And that’s what you see in the chart at the top of this post.