WALTHAM, Mass. — The market research, consulting, and Internet ratings firm Gomez Inc. has laid off about 42 employees, nearly a third of its work force, a spokesman confirmed.

The layoffs, which took place April 6, were across the board but hit the market research and consulting department the hardest, the spokesman said last week. That department rates Web sites and advises companies on how to upgrade their sites.

The layoffs reflect a decision to focus on financial services companies to become profitable faster, the spokesman said. Gomez will stop publishing market research and scorecards for segments including travel, retail, and health, he said. The privately held company, founded in 1997, will continue to advise clients in these segments on their Web sites, the spokesman said.

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