Alexa Internet was founded in 1996 by the Americans Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. Initially Alexa offered a browser-based web navigation service. Via a toolbar, users received suggestions for the next steps, based on the traffic patterns of all users involved. Alexa also offered various page information: who she was registered for, how many pages she had, how many other websites pointed to her, and how often she was updated. Alexa users can vote on how much they like a website. Each user can only vote once per page. The data thus collected was archived and served as the basis for the creation of the Internet archive. In addition, a two terabyte copy of the archive went to the Library of Congress. In 1999 Alexa was taken over by Amazon.com. Alexa began a partnership with Google in 2002 and with the Open Directory Project in 2003. In 2006, Google was replaced by Live Search as a search results provider. In addition to search results, ratings and page statistics are also displayed. In December 2006 they published Alexa Image Search. In December 2005, Alexa opened its extensive search index and web crawling functions to third parties, who could develop their own search offers based on it. This service was discontinued in 2009. On March 31, 2009, the Alexa website underwent a fundamental overhaul and since then has offered the web traffic metrics still available today (2019).
|Launched||1996, a web search was only offered since 2002|
|Closed||March 31, 2009, the Alexa website underwent a major redesign, offering new web traffic metrics|
|Developer||Kahle, Brewster and Gilliat, Bruce|
|Country of Origin||US America|
|1996 - 1999||Alexa Internet|
|1999 - [...]||Amazon.com|
|Robot/Crawler based, algorithmic search
|Used SeEn||Google Search Engine
Open Directory Project
MSN Live Search
|Older Version||Internet Archive / WebCite|
|»Alexa Internet was founded in 1996 by American web entrepreneurs Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. [...]
The company offered a toolbar that gave Internet users suggestions on where to go next, based on the traffic patterns of its user community. Alexa 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.
In 1999, Alexa was acquired by Amazon.com for about US$250 million in Amazon stock as the company moved away from its original vision of providing an "intelligent" search engine. Alexa began a partnership with Google in early 2002, and with the Open Directory Project in January 2003. In May 2006, Amazon replaced Google with Live Search as a provider of search results. In December 2006, they released Alexa Image Search. Built in-house, it was the first major application to be built on their 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 require comparisons be limited to three sites, reduced size embedded graphs be shown using Flash, and mandatory embedded BritePic ads.
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. [...] On March 31, 2009, the Alexa website underwent a major redesign, offering new web traffic metrics, including average page views per each individual user, bounce rate, and user time on site. In the following weeks, Alexa added further features, including visitor demographics, clickstream and search traffic statistics. These new features were introduced in order to compete with other web analytics services, such as Compete.com and Quantcast.« Source|
|»Alexa's operation includes archiving of webpages 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.« Source|
|1999: »Alexa is a free advertising-supported Web navigation service. It works with your browser and accompanies you as you surf, providing useful information about the sites you are viewing and suggesting related sites.« Source|
|»The company's name was chosen in homage to the Library of Alexandria, 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.« Source|
Features & Functionality
|Example Site info for "Lindsay-Lohan.org | Your Source for Everything..." (2006): Source|
|Example results page for "lindsay lohan": Source|