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Alexa Internet

alexa internet, alexa internet connection
Alexa Internet, Inc is a California-based company that provides commercial web traffic data and analytics It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazoncom

Founded as an independent company in 1996, Alexa was acquired by Amazon in 1999 Its toolbar collects data on browsing behavior and transmits them to the Alexa website, where they are stored and analyzed, forming 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, and as of 2015, its website has been visited by over 65 million people monthly

Contents

  • 1 Operations and history
    • 11 1996–1999
    • 12 2000–2016
  • 2 Tracking
    • 21 Toolbar
    • 22 Certified statistics
  • 3 Privacy and malware assessments
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Operations and history

1996–1999

Alexa 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 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 the 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 Amazoncom for approximately US$250 million in Amazon stock

2000–2016

Alexa began a partnership with Google in early 2002, and with the web directory DMOZ in January 2003 In May 2006, Amazon replaced Google 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 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 lawsuit Alexa v Hornbaker was filed 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 services

Tracking

Toolbar

Alexa ranks sites based primarily on tracking a sample set of Internet traffic—users of its toolbar for the Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers The Alexa Toolbar includes a popup blocker, a search box, links to Amazoncom 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 Firefox browser 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 "beyond Alexa Toolbar users"

Certified statistics

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 Javascript code on each page of their 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 toolbar for Internet Explorer 7 was at one point flagged as malware by Microsoft Defender Symantec classifies the toolbar as "trackware", while 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 webpage

See also

  • Internet portal
  • List of most popular websites
  • List of search engines
  • List of web directories

References

  1. ^ a b "About Alexa Internet" Archived from the original on October 7, 2009 Retrieved October 9, 2009 
  2. ^ a b "Management" Alexa Internet Retrieved December 24, 2014 
  3. ^ a b "Alexacom Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved October 21, 2016 
  4. ^ "About" Alexa Retrieved January 18, 2015 
  5. ^ "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 
  6. ^ a b "A "Gift of the Web" for the Library of Congress from Alexa Internet" October 19, 1998 Retrieved October 19, 2009 
  7. ^ Keith Dawson July 28, 1997 "Alexa Internet opens the doors" Retrieved October 9, 2009 
  8. ^ "Internet Archive FAQs" Archived from the original on October 21, 2009 Retrieved October 9, 2009 
  9. ^ Adam Feuerstein May 21, 1999 "E-commerce loves Street: Critical Path plans encore" San Francisco Business Times Retrieved November 5, 2013 
  10. ^ Elizabeth Montalbano May 1, 2006 "Amazon dumps Google for Windows Live" Infoworld Retrieved November 6, 2011 
  11. ^ "Northern California District Federal court Case number — C 07-01715 RS" PDF Retrieved April 19, 2007 
  12. ^ Alan Graham April 18, 2007 "Amazon sues Alexaholiceveryone loses!" ZDnet Retrieved March 14, 2016 
  13. ^ Pete Cashmore April 19, 2007 "Amazon sues StatsaholicWeb as Platform is Bullsht" Mashable Retrieved February 14, 2013 
  14. ^ John Cook November 27, 2008 "Amazon pulling plug on Alexa Web Search" Archived from the original on December 3, 2008 Retrieved November 27, 2008 
  15. ^ Geoffrey Mack March 31, 2009 "Pardon our dust" Alexa Internet Retrieved November 6, 2011 
  16. ^ Geoffrey Mack April 14, 2009 "More New Alexa Features: Demographics, Clickstream, Search Traffic" Retrieved October 9, 2009 
  17. ^ "Technology: How and Why We Crawl the Web" Alexa Archived from the original on April 2, 2014 Retrieved November 6, 2011 
  18. ^ 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 
  19. ^ 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 
  20. ^ Michael Arrington "Alexa’s Make Believe Internet"; "Alexa Says YouTube Is Now Bigger Than Google Alexa Is Useless" TechCrunch 2007 Retrieved June 21, 2013
  21. ^ "SearchStatus: A Search Extension for Firefox and SeaMonkey" Quirkbiz Retrieved June 24, 2013
  22. ^ Home A9com Retrieved June 24, 2013
  23. ^ "Sparky Add-on for Firefox Released Today" Alexa Blog July 16, 2007 Retrieved June 24, 2013
  24. ^ "Alexa Announcement" Alexa Archived from the original on April 24, 2008 Retrieved September 22, 2012 
  25. ^ "Alexa Overhauls Ranking System" TechCrunch April 16, 2008 Retrieved December 1, 2012
  26. ^ "Alexa Pro for Digital Marketers" Alexa Retrieved January 18, 2015 
  27. ^ "Windows Defender calls Alexa Toolbar Trojan" TMCNet March 2, 2007 Retrieved June 24, 2013 
  28. ^ "Trackware Alexa — Symanteccom" February 13, 2007 Retrieved July 5, 2008 
  29. ^ "Adware-Alexa" February 23, 2005 Retrieved July 5, 2008 
  30. ^ "Alexacom: Web Safety Ratings" McAfee SiteAdvisor September 2007 Retrieved July 5, 2008 
  31. ^ "Delete Alexa Account" Account Killer Archived from the original on April 9, 2014 Retrieved June 20, 2014 

External links

  • Official website

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