Search engine Yahoo has released a list of the top 12 websites for 2002. The sites were chosen by a panel of its surfing experts who based their choices on the useful, cool and quirky aspects of the sites, rather than how popular they were.

Aardman Animations, the company responsible for creating cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit, was given a huge pat on the back by the panel. Its website shows a collection of original amusing animations. One of the most popular animations, which has become a mass mailer, is the Atomic Kitten cat dance, which shows a group of moggies boogying away to band's tunes.

Website IUsedtobelieve also received a mention. The site asks visitors to post details of misconceptions they had when they were children. Subjects cover everything from animals and household items to 'rude bits', making for some rather amusing reading.

Most of the sites featured were funny, although some were a little close to the bone, like Poppedclogs which publishes obituaries or e-bituaries for dead celebrities., a site for purchasing music, movies and games, was the only shopping site selected by the judges.

For a full list of the sites Yahoo singled out for praise click here.

Not surprisingly, Yahoo isn't the only one to be heralding in the new year by publishing a list; internet research company, NielsenNetratings has come up with its own rundown of the UK's best websites for 2002.

Its picks include Google, which won website of the year after seeing its audience share jump by 10 percent, giving it 4.7 million visitors. Auction site eBay, won e-commerce site of the year with 2.9 million visitors and British site of the year was BBCi, with an audience share increase of 6.8 percent.

Other sites of the year were:

Broadband site — Windowsmedia
Word-of-mouth site — Kazaa
Newcomer site — DooYoo
Most useful site — Symantec
Giant site — Microsoft
Electronic retailer — Amazon
Revamped site — O2

We'd like to hear your top picks for the past year too so we can compile our own Top 10 of PC Advisor readers' favourite websites. Tell us which sites you love here.