RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — When Patrick Martin, the chief executive officer of WebSourced, said a few weeks back that his firm has “really hit its stride,” he wasn’t kidding.

The firm announced Wednesday afternoon that it is moving into vastly larger office space and preparing to more than double in size in 2004. It’s also going to provide a variety of on-site facilities, including racquetball and basketball courts plus a restaurant.

“Growth of our KeywordRanking.com division has exploded,” Andy Beal, vice president of marketing, tells Local Tech Wire, “and we expect to be strong in 2004. The recent launch of our online dating division, Cherish.com, should also see positive results in 2004.”

Beal says the extra amenities will be added at the request of employees plus other reasons. “Because it will keep our staff happy and motivated, they asked for it” he explains. “In addition, we want to create a work environment that is fun with opportunities to de-stress. That way, employees are not eager to leave at 5 PM. We get more production from content staff.”

Building a highly motivated, team environment is important to the firm’s success, he adds.

“The company is run by a team that has a strong sales background,” Beal says. “Normally, tech companies are started by ‘tech experts’ who invent a product but don’t have the expertise to run a successful company.”

KeywordRanking and Cherish.com are part of WebSourced, which is a subsidiary of CGI Holding Corporation. WebSourced reported a record $539,700 in income for the third quarter.

The group, working with Duke Realty Corporation, is moving into a 30,000 square foot facility on Perimeter Park Drive in Morrisville. Hooker Manning of Duke Realty says the facility “will create one of the most unique office environments in the area.”

To fill the space, Beal says WebSourced plans to hire between 50 and 100 people. Of those, 70 percent will work in sales. The rest will be hired for technical and customer services. WebSourced currently employs 55 people.

WebSourced recently expanded its management team, hiring Jeff Martin as vice president of engineering. He also leads the firm’s web design and programming.

While KeywordRanking is WebSourced’s best-known group, Beal says Cherish.com also has considerable potential.

“Very, very well,” he says when asked how the new site is developing. “We have been working on some significant partnerships which we hope to announce in the next couple of weeks. We are making final adjustments to the interface and believe we have a perfect dating service. Membership continues to grow.”

In the press

The Nov. 24 issue of BusinessWeek features a huge, positive story on Cisco. The headline says: “Cisco’s Comeback: How It Became Stronger Than Ever.”

The same issue also picks its “Web Smart 50” — companies that have demonstrated how to truly utilize the web. Krispy Kreme is cited for customer service, having set up a network linking 329 shops. Cisco is there for cutting edge, having switched 35,000 employees and consultants to Internet telephony service. IBM is credited for collaboration, having created ways for employees to work together online and improve their skills.