ALEXA INTERNET, INC. is a California-based company that provides
commercial web traffic data and analytics. It is a wholly owned
Founded as an independent company in 1996, Alexa was acquired by the
company Amazon in 1999. Its toolbar collects data on browsing 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 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 June 2017, the number 1 Alexa Rank belongs to
Google.com , its
average daily time being 8.1 and average daily pageviews being 8.01.
* 1 Operations and history
* 1.1 1996–1999
* 1.2 2000–2009
* 2 Tracking
* 2.2 Certified statistics
* 3 Privacy and malware assessments
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links
OPERATIONS AND HISTORY
Internet was founded in April 1996 by American web
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 . 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
Library of Congress
Library of Congress .
Alexa continues to supply the
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
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 May 2006,
Google was replaced with
Bing (at the time known as Windows Live Search ) as a provider of
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 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 2007, Alexa changed their API
to limit comparisons to three websites, reduce the size of embedded
graphs in Flash , and add mandatory embedded BritePic advertisements.
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, and user time on site.
In the following weeks, Alexa added more features, including visitor
demographics, clickstream and 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
Internet Explorer ,
Google Chrome web browsers. The Alexa
Toolbar includes a
popup blocker , a search box, links to
Amazon.com and the Alexa
homepage, and the Alexa ranking of the site that the user is visiting.
It also allows the user to rate the site and view links to external,
relevant sites. 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
Toolbar installed, 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
Internet behavior, 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 Google.
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 for
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
Using the Alexa Pro service, website owners can sign up for
"certified statistics", which allows Alexa more access to a site'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 "trackware",
McAfee classifies it as adware , deeming it a "potentially
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 webpage.
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 March 6,
* ^ "About". Alexa. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
* ^ "Alexa Top 500 global sites on the web.". Alexa. Retrieved June
* ^ "ALEXA
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 5, 2013.
* ^ Elizabeth Montalbano (May 1, 2006). "Amazon dumps
Windows Live". Infoworld. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
* ^ "Northern
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, 2009.
* ^ "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.
ISBN 978-0-596-10108-4 .
* ^ 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
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. 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.