Alexa Internet, Inc. is an American company based in
provides commercial web traffic data and analytics. It is a subsidiary
Founded as an independent company in 1996, Alexa was acquired by the
company Amazon in 1999. Its toolbar collects data on
behavior and transmits them to the Alexa website, where they are
stored and analyzed. This is the basis for the company's web traffic
reporting. According to its website, Alexa provides web traffic data,
global rankings, and other information on 30 million websites. As
of 2015, its website has been visited by over 6.5 million people
monthly. As of November 2017, the number 1 Alexa Rank belongs to
Google.com, its average daily time on the website being 8 minutes, 2
seconds and the average daily pageviews per person being 8.94.
1 Operations and history
2.2 Certified statistics
3 Privacy and malware assessments
4 See also
6 External links
Operations and history
Internet was founded in April 1996 by American web entrepreneurs
Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. The company's name was chosen in
homage to the
Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria of Ptolemaic Egypt, drawing a
parallel between the largest repository of knowledge in the ancient
world and the potential of the
Internet to become a similar store of
knowledge. Alexa initially offered a toolbar that gave Internet
users suggestions on where to go next, based on the traffic patterns
of its user community. The company also offered 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.
Alexa's operations grew to include archiving of web pages as they are
"crawled" and examined by an automated computer program (nicknamed a
"bot" or "web crawler"). This database served as the basis for the
creation of the
Internet Archive accessible through the Wayback
Machine. In 1998, the company donated a copy of the archive, two
terabytes in size, to the Library of Congress. Alexa continues to
Internet Archive with Web crawls. In 1999, as the company
moved away from its original vision of providing an "intelligent"
search engine, Alexa was acquired by
Amazon.com for approximately
US$250 million in Amazon stock.
Alexa began a partnership with
Google in early 2002, and with the web
DMOZ in January 2003. In December 2005, Alexa opened its
extensive search index and Web-crawling facilities to third-party
programs through a comprehensive set of Web services and APIs. These
could be used, for instance, to construct vertical search engines that
could run on Alexa's own servers or elsewhere. In May 2006,
replaced with Bing (at the time known as Windows Live Search) as a
provider of search results. In December 2006, Amazon released
Alexa Image Search. Built in-house, it was the first major application
built on the company's Web platform. In May 2007, Alexa changed their
API to limit comparisons to three websites, reduce the size of
embedded graphs in Flash, and add mandatory embedded BritePic
In April 2007, the company filed a lawsuit, Alexa v. Hornbaker, to
stop trademark infringement by the Statsaholic service. In the
lawsuit, Alexa alleged that Ron Hornbaker was stealing traffic graphs
for profit, and that the primary purpose of his site was to display
graphs that were generated by Alexa's servers. Hornbaker removed
the term Alexa from his service name on March 19, 2007. On
November 27, 2008, Amazon announced that Alexa Web Search was no
longer accepting new customers, and that the service would be
deprecated or discontinued for existing customers on January 26,
2009. Thereafter, Alexa became a purely analytics-focused company.
On March 31, 2009, Alexa launched a major website redesign. The
redesigned site provided new web traffic metrics—including average
page views per individual user, bounce rate (the rate of users who
come to, and then leave a webpage), and user time on website. In
the following weeks, Alexa added more features, including visitor
demographics, clickstream and web search traffic statistics. Alexa
introduced these new features to compete with other web analytics
Alexa ranks sites based primarily on tracking a sample set of Internet
traffic—users of its toolbar for the
Google Chrome web browsers. The Alexa
Toolbar includes a popup
blocker (which stops unwanted ads), a search box, links to Amazon.com
and the Alexa homepage, and the Alexa ranking of the website that the
user is visiting. It also allows the user to rate the website and view
links to external, relevant websites. In early 2005, Alexa stated that
there had been 10 million downloads of the toolbar, though the company
did not provide statistics about active usage. Originally, web pages
were only ranked amongst users who had the Alexa
and could be biased if a specific audience subgroup was reluctant to
take part in the rankings. This caused some controversies over how
representative Alexa's user base was of typical
especially for less-visited sites. In 2007, Michael Arrington
provided examples of Alexa rankings known to contradict data from the
comScore web analytics service, including ranking
YouTube ahead of
Until 2007, a third-party-supplied plugin for the
served as the only option for
Firefox users after Amazon abandoned its
A9 toolbar. On July 16, 2007, Alexa released an official toolbar
Firefox called Sparky. On 16 April 2008, many users reported
drastic shifts in their Alexa rankings. Alexa confirmed this later in
the day with an announcement that they had released an updated ranking
system, claiming that they would now take into account more sources of
data "beyond Alexa
Using the Alexa Pro service, website owners can sign up for "certified
za statistics", which allows Alexa more access to a website's traffic
data. Site owners input
website that, if permitted by the user's security and privacy
settings, runs and sends traffic data to Alexa, allowing Alexa to
display—or not display, depending on the owner's preference—more
accurate statistics such as total pageviews and unique pageviews.
Privacy and malware assessments
A number of antivirus companies have assessed Alexa's toolbar. The
Internet Explorer 7 was at one point flagged as malware by
Microsoft Defender. Symantec classifies the toolbar as
McAfee classifies it as adware, deeming it a
"potentially unwanted program."
McAfee Site Advisor rates the
Alexa site as "green", finding "no significant problems" but warning
of a "small fraction of downloads ... that some people consider
adware or other potentially unwanted programs." Though it is
possible to delete a paid subscription within an Alexa account, it is
not possible to delete an account that is created at Alexa through any
web interface, though any user may contact the company via its support
List of most popular websites
List of search engines
List of web directories
^ a b "About Alexa Internet". Archived from the original on October 7,
2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
^ a b "Management". Alexa Internet. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
^ a b "Alexa.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved April 01,
2018. Check date values in: access-date= (help)
^ "About". Alexa. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
^ "Alexa Top 500 global sites on the web". Alexa. Retrieved June 16,
Internet Donates Archive of the World Wide Web To Library of
Congress". Alexa press release. October 13, 1998. Archived from the
original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
^ a b "A "Gift of the Web" for the
Library of Congress
Library of Congress from Alexa
Internet". October 19, 1998. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
^ Keith Dawson (July 28, 1997). "Alexa
Internet opens the doors".
Retrieved October 9, 2009.
Internet Archive FAQs". Archived from the original on October 21,
2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
^ Adam Feuerstein (May 21, 1999). "E-commerce loves Street: Critical
Path plans encore".
San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved November
^ Elizabeth Montalbano (May 1, 2006). "Amazon dumps
Google for Windows
Live". Infoworld. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
California District Federal court Case number — C
07-01715 RS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 22,
2007. Retrieved April 19, 2007.
^ Alan Graham (April 18, 2007). "Amazon sues Alexaholic...everyone
loses!". ZDnet. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
^ Pete Cashmore (April 19, 2007). "Amazon sues Statsaholic...Web as
Platform is Bullsh*t". Mashable. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
^ John Cook (November 27, 2008). "Amazon pulling plug on Alexa Web
Search". Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved
November 27, 2008.
^ Geoffrey Mack (March 31, 2009). "Pardon our dust". Alexa Internet.
Retrieved November 6, 2011.
^ Geoffrey Mack (April 14, 2009). "More New Alexa Features:
Demographics, Clickstream, Search Traffic". Retrieved October 9,
^ "Technology: How and Why We Crawl the Web". Alexa. Archived from the
original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
^ a b Harold Davis (2006).
Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with
AdSense, Adwords, and the
Google APIs. O'Reilly Media. p. 12.
^ Alistair Croll; Seán Power (2009). Complete Web Monitoring:
Watching Your Visitors, Performance, Communities, and Competitors.
O'Reilly Media. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-596-15513-1.
^ Michael Arrington. "Alexa’s Make Believe Internet"; "Alexa Says
YouTube Is Now Bigger Than Google. Alexa Is Useless". TechCrunch.
2007. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
^ "SearchStatus: A Search Extension for
Firefox and SeaMonkey".
Quirk.biz. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
^ Home. A9.com. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
^ "Sparky Add-on for
Firefox Released Today". Alexa Blog. July 16,
2007. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
^ "Alexa Announcement". Alexa. Archived from the original on April 24,
2008. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
^ "Alexa Overhauls Ranking System". TechCrunch. April 16, 2008.
Retrieved December 1, 2012.
^ "Alexa Pro for Digital Marketers". Alexa. Retrieved January 18,
^ "Windows Defender calls Alexa
Toolbar Trojan". TMCNet. March 2,
2007. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
^ "Trackware. Alexa — Symantec.com". February 13, 2007.
Retrieved July 5, 2008.
^ "Adware-Alexa". February 23, 2005. Archived from the original on
November 1, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008.
^ "Alexa.com: Web Safety Ratings".
McAfee SiteAdvisor. September 2007.
Retrieved July 5, 2008.
^ "Delete Alexa Account". Account Killer. Archived from the original
on April 9, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
Wikidata has the property: Alexa rank (P1661) (see talk; uses)
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