Language English

Launched 1996
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 - [...]

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Crawler-based, algorithmic SeEn
Search Portal

Used SeEn Google Search Engine
Open Directory Project
MSN Live Search

Robot: ia_archiver (Source)

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 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 and Quantcast.« 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

Critical points

Features & Functionality


»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

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Alexa Blog URL:
Notess, GR: Alexa: Web archive, advisor, and statistician. In: ONLINE. Volume: 22, Issue: 3, MAY-JUN 1998, Pages: 29-30. URL:
Metamend: Alexa Search Engine Optimization URL:

Created: 2013-01-22