Alexa Internet

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alexa logo
description Web traffic analysis , search engine
languages English
owner Amazon
Originator Brewster Kahle , Bruce Gilliat
Published April 1996

Alexa is an online service that collects and displays data about page views from websites . The operating company Alexa Internet Inc. is a subsidiary of .

Alexa was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat and was acquired by in 1999 for $ 250 million.


“Alexa was designed as an orientation aid through the Internet. [...] We wanted to catalog the web. Users should know where they are and be suggested which pages to visit next. So the company's concept was basically to show related links for every website visited. "

- Brewster Kahle, founder of Alexa Internet Inc.

Initially, Alexa Internet was just a toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer . Later the toolbar was also offered for other web browsers and its functions were combined with those of a search engine . The focus is on evaluating the quality , traffic and links of a particular website. Today this toolbar is mainly used in English-speaking cultures.

Alexa Internet rates websites according to the type of selection, in the sense of whether they are selected directly or via similar pages. Alexa Internet does not act as a search engine in the narrower sense, but as a database that lists pages that are related to the currently visited website, i.e. are thematically similar. Alexa Internet also evaluates the data from the Open Directory Project .

Alexa Rank

The Alexa Rank evaluates the number of visitors and in this way determines the 1,000,000 most visited domains. Due to the system, the value determined is no longer representative at this point and also contains errors. A further disadvantageous effect on the informative value of the Alexa Rank is the fact that only the information is included in the evaluation of the websites that is collected through the automated monitoring of the users of the toolbar. It is therefore a non-representative sample . Due to the inadequate sample, Alexa overestimates the real reach of certain websites by a factor of 50; Google researcher Peter Norvig proved this in 2007 with a sample analysis.

Since 2008, the data on which the ranking list is based is no longer exclusively collected using the toolbar, but is compiled from various sources.

Privacy concerns

The state commissioner for data protection in Bremen lists the toolbar as data protection violating software ( spyware ), which transmits information to the server service about the Internet use of web users, and publishes instructions on how to protect yourself against this activity. The toolbar was offered in large numbers to unsuspecting PC users as supposedly helpful software or as part of the installation of other programs.

In particular, websites with an audience interested in data protection are likely to be underrepresented.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jessica Livingston: Founders At Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days . Apress, 2008, ISBN 1-4302-1078-8 , pp. 265 .
  2. Becky Hogge: Brewster Kahle. 10 people - Becky Hogge on the egghead who hopes to create a permanent record of all human knowledge. (No longer available online.) New Statesman October 17, 2005, archived from the original January 17, 2012 ; accessed on October 26, 2014 (English).
  3. Free translation from Livingston, p. 275; Jessica Livingston: Founders At Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days . Apress, 2008, ISBN 1-4302-1078-8 , pp. 265 . In the original: "The idea of ​​Alexa was to help guide you around the Net. [...] We wanted to catalog the Web: make it so that you knew where you were and where you might want to go next. The concept of the company was to show you related links to every page you were on. "
  4. About Us - Information. Insight. Advantage. In: Retrieved October 26, 2014 .
  5. ^ Peter Norvig: Alexa Toolbar and the Problem of Experiment Design. In: , 2007.
  6. Estimating webmaster skew in Alexa metrics. In: Matt Cutt's blog. March 4, 2007, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  7. ^ Matt Hickey: Alexa Overhaul's Ranking System. In: TechCrunch . April 16, 2008, accessed August 24, 2017 .
  8. How important is Alexa in 2013