Alexa the Web Information Company

By jadwinjadwin (1256516292|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

The largest Deep-Web™ sites contain about 750 terabytes of data in total! Alexa is the 4th largest of these sites with 15,860 GBs. Compared to the National Climatic Data Center (NOAA), which has 366,000 GBs, Alexa is quite small, though. To see the top 60 largest Deep-Web™ sites check out Complete Planet- The Deep Web Directory.

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Overview:

"Alexa is a useful resource for people to discover information about websites." Alexa is different than other search engines because in addition to providing the name of the site, url, and a brief description, Alexa also provides a rank of the site, category, keywords and a description from the site. I did a search to find sites about the General Electric Company. Below was my first result.

General Electric
ge.com
Products and services including consumer appliances and repair, lighting products for home improvement and warranty registration.
Rank: 13,900 Category: Regional > North America
Keywords: ge, general electric, six sigma, ge appliances, ge.com
From the site: GE.com is the official website of General Electric Company, a large corporation that engage in various industries worldwide generating over 180 billion dollars annually.

In addition to providing a thorough description, Alexa allows the user to narrow down results with a filter. Below is a list of the different fields the user can filter on, the type of selection, and an example.

Filter Selection Type Example
With Users in Country Iceland
Language in Language Icelandic
In Category Category & Sub-Categories Arts & Comics
With Traffic Rank Between Number Range 1 to 1,000
That Adult Content or Not? May Show Adult Content

This filter system is great because, as a selection is made, the results automatically update. An example of how I further filtered my original search is in the table below. Through filtering I was able to narrow my results from 91 to 23.

Filter Selection Results
None None 91
With Users in United States 52
Language in English 51
In Category Business 24
With Traffic Rank Between 1,000 and 1,000,000 23
That May Show Adult Content 23

Top Sites

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Alexa claims that it has taken every website in the world and sorted them by popularity. To access this exclusive feature, click on the Top Sites tab. The user can then select the "Global", "By Country", or "By Category" tabs. The "Global" tab provides the Top 500 Global Sites and currently Google is ranked #1 with Facebook, Yahoo! and YouTube ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively. The "By Country" tab shows the user the Top 100 sites in each country and the "By Category" tab shows the Top Ranked sites in each category.

Top Sites is a great way to discover new sites. Using the "By Category" feature the user can select a category and once a category has been selected, the user can filter down by sub-categories and then by related categories of the sub-categories. To find wineries in France I did the following search: Top > Regional > Europe > France > Business and Economy > Shopping > Wine. By selecting sub-categories and related categories I could further refine my search until I found the perfect winery, Domaine de Mourchon, to visit while in France.

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What's Hot

"Alexa's What's Hot feature is a great way to find out what is happening on the web right now. See the latest news stories, videos, or hot sites in near real-time, all sorted by popularity based on the activity of people with the Alexa Toolbar. The list is updated every 5 minutes with the latest info, so check back often to see what's hot." On Alexa's homepage the user will find a list of Hot Topics and Hot Pages. Below are a list of the current Hot Topics and Hot Pages as of 10 pm on 10/25/2009.

Current Hot Topics

Current Hot Pages

  1. Drugstore Shampoos You Shouldn't Buy (Even if they're on Sale)
  2. Detroit house auction flops for urban wasteland
  3. NFL Game Center: Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
  4. YouTube - U2official's Channel
  5. Activity' slays 'Saw' with $22 million (AP)

Ranking

9/10! Alexa is truly amazing and it has made searching for sites really fun. By providing categories the user is able to continue tailoring their search until they find a really unique site. Hot Topics is fun and useful. It's cool to know what people are searching, and gives a list of the "Top 10 Hot Pages" about the specific topic. Also, I was able to find a lot of relevant sites for my term project. So overall this is great and I would definitely recommend checking out Alexa.

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