Alexa.com - Website statistics and rankings.
Alexa Web Search
Alexa internet was founded in the year 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gillia. The company developed the toolbar for the internet users so that they can get the guidance on where to go next, based on the traffic pattern for its user community. In addition Alexa also provides context for each site visited: to whom it was registered, how many pages it had, how many other sites pointed to it, and how frequently it was updated. Engineers at Alexa have developed and installed millions of toolbars, one of the largest Web crawls, and an infrastructure to process and serve massive amounts of data.
Arguably, Alexa's most widely used information are its traffic rankings. Based on its algorithm and data from users of its toolbar, Alexa ranks websites based on the amount of traffic they receive in comparison to others. For website operators, the lower this number the better.
After its formation in 1996, Alexa toolbar version 1.0 was released in 1997. It has features such as Site Information, Related Links, access to archived pages, access to Encyclopedia Britannica content, and instant messaging.
In 1998, Netscape in its Netscape Navigator browser version 4.0 built Alexa as the centerpiece of the “Smart Browsing” feature set. Also, Alexa began its long partnership with the Library of Congress.
In 1999, Microsoft, the main competitor of the Netscape, followed its actions and built it in its browser. Alexa was gaining ground and its popularity reached an all-time high with over 3 million downloads. Amazon.com purchased it in June, 1999.
In 2000, Alexa released a new version 5.0 toolbar which included shopping features and search functions. It had more than 7 million downloads. In 2001, again a new version 6.0 was released which had a new sleeker design and the Wayback button. Wayback Machine contains all the pages fully indexed and is now the largest database in the World. The Wayback Machine was awarded the site of the year by Yahoo Internet Life magazine. It was built by the Alex Internet for Internet Archive.
In 2002 Alexa released 6.5 version of the toolbar and also it partnered with Google and released Alexa Web Search. It was new type of search engine which helped users to find detail information of the websites on the internet. In 2004, beta version of Alexa Web Information service was released on the Amazon.com Web Services platform. This helped developers to build whole generation of new tools on the basis of extensive information about the web of Alexa. Finally, in 2005, the Alexa Web Information Service version 1.0 was released the Amazon.com services platform. In the month of December of same year, Alexa Web Search Platform was released in limited beta so as to allow developers to access Alexa’s infrastructure to develop new services based on the Alexa vast repository of Web data.
Products and Services
- Alexa Web Search Platform Beta
Released in 2005, gives access to developers to vast repository of web contents and Alexa’s infrastructure to develop new services.
- Alexa Web Information Service
This was released on 2005. It provided access to Alexa’s processed information, trafficking detail, related links etc.
- Alexa Toolbar
It was released in 1997. This tool is placed over browser and provides information such as Site Information, Related Links, access to archived pages etc.
It was built to provide relevant and timely information of the web content. Some of the features such as thumbnail images of the site, site information balloons to help in making a quick decision about results that are useful. It also built database of information about the sites.
- Webmaster Services
Many tools were developed for website owners which help to drive traffic, make money, find broken links etc.
- Data Services
Alexa provides access to developers to its vast repository of web content to build new web applications.
Alexa gathers information from all the publicly available websites to create snapshots of the websites. These data are used to create features and services like Traffic rankings, pictures of sites, related links etc. Alexa has been crawling websites since 1996 and has gathered 4.5 billion pages from about 16 million websites. It gathers about 1.6 terabytes (1600 gigabytes) of web content per day.
The majority of Alexa's information comes from Alexa toolbar users. Users of the toolbar give information about the website like how it is used, what is important and what is not important simply by using the toolbar. This information is used to improve the toolbar with respect to related links, Traffic Rankings etc. It provides various data about the sites like Traffic Rank, speed, contact info, Related links etc about the websites.
Donation of Information to Internet Archive
Alexa Internet donates information about the websites to Internet Archive, a non-profit organization committed to the long-term preservation and maintenance of a growing collection of data about the Web.
- Presidio Bldg 37 PO Box 29141
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There has been an ongoing debate over whether or not the Alexa Toolbar is spyware, or enables spyware to be installed on one's system. Alexa claims unequivocally that the toolbar is not spyware, with the explanation that it is not installed deceptively, but that a computer user has the option to read up on its behavior before installing it. Anti-spyware software such as Ad-Aware, however, often identifies it as spyware, and computer users have noted negative and unexpected impacts on their systems, and the transmittal of personal data, after installing the toolbar.