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Friday, June 08, 2007

New Version of Alexa Web Search

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Alexa Internet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com, today launched a new version of the Alexa Web Search service that returns up to 1 million search results from a single query, allows complex queries involving thousands of search terms, and gives programmatic access to the actual page content of the documents matching a query. This release enables any developer to innovate in search at web scale using the power of Alexa's search engine, web crawl and Amazon's infrastructure web services. The Alexa Web Search service is offered by Amazon Web Services at http://aws.amazon.com/alexawebsearch.

"Developers, businesses, universities and research institutions have been asking us for years to use the Alexa web crawl for their own very specific purposes. They don't want a search engine that returns 10 or even 100 results for a given word or phrase. They want a search engine they can program to return millions of results based on thousands of terms, and then analyze those results for even more specific data," said Niall O'Driscoll, Alexa vice president of engineering. "The Alexa Web Search service makes this possible, and in a simple, affordable, and scalable way. Now any developer with an idea can use the power of search to build their own business, answer complex research questions, or discover new slices of data never queried before."

Developers can use the Alexa Web Search service to build web search into their applications or services, to create vertical search engines on specific topics, and to perform custom, complex queries of data on the web and receive up to 1 million results that match the single query. In addition, they can filter or extract data from documents using regular expressions that are run across the documents matching a query.

For example, with the Alexa Web Search service, a developer could build a directory of Paris hotels. By searching for pages containing both "Paris" and "hotel" and retrieving up to a million matches, a developer could create a custom slice of the web as a starting point for a new directory. Additional processing could be as simple as using regular expressions to extract hotel names, rates, and addresses, or as complex as analyzing the full document text using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), offered by Amazon Web Services, to identify amenities or nearby attractions. In either case, the developer is spared the difficulty and expense of spidering the web just to find the subset relevant to hotels.

Developers can process the page content of documents themselves using the Alexa Web Search service to locate documents of interest, retrieve and process those documents from Amazon EC2 compute nodes, and store their output in the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). These services offered by Amazon Web Services help make the Alexa Web Search service highly scalable, reliable, and cost effective. The Alexa Web Search service replaces the Alexa Web Search Platform service.

"The Alexa Web Search Platform that we released in beta two years ago was the beginning of what we are launching today. We learned that developers want even deeper access to the crawl. They want a toolbox, not a Swiss Army knife, and APIs, not GUIs," said O'Driscoll. "We listened to our developers and the new Alexa Web Search service is the result."

Musipedia (www.musipedia.org) -- a site that allows users to find songs by melody instead of title lyrics or artist -- has used the Alexa Web Search Platform to find melodies to add to their database.

"With Alexa's new Web Search service, I can do everything programmatically. I search for up to 1 million files at a time, analyze those files using my melody identification software running on EC2 nodes, and release those nodes when I'm finished," said Rainer Typke, founder of Musipedia. "And now the service is incredibly cost effective and easy to use. The process allows me to focus on my algorithms and website, and leave the web-scale infrastructure parts to Amazon and Alexa. The end result is that Musipedia users can now find many more sites with the melodies they are searching for."

About Alexa Internet

Founded in April 1996 by Bruce Gilliat and acquired by Amazon.com in 1999, Alexa Internet provides dynamic data about the web. Alexa's services include web search, web site traffic information, statistics, and other tools to make timely and intelligent business and consumer decisions.

    About Alexa's Web Services

   Alexa Web Search

The Alexa Web Search service returns up to one million search results, allows complex queries involving thousands of search terms, and gives programmatic access to the actual page content of the documents matching a query. Additionally, the Alexa Web Search enables any developer to innovate in search at web scale using the power of Alexa's search engine, web crawl and Amazon's infrastructure web services.

Alexa Site Thumbnail Web Service

The Alexa Site Thumbnail web service provides developers with programmatic access to thumbnail images for the home pages of web sites. It offers access to Alexa's large and growing collection of images, gathered from its comprehensive web crawl.

Alexa Web Information Service

AWIS offers software and Web developers access to more than 100 terabytes of web site information and popularity data collected by Alexa's web crawl of 10 billion Web pages on 16 million sites. Developers can use AWIS to answer difficult and interesting questions about the web, and programmatically incorporate these answers directly into their applications. Types of web site information and popularity data that are accessible to developers through AWIS include website traffic data, related sites, and a categorized view of the web ordered by traffic rank.

1 comment:

Martin said...

The journey of Alexa- The Web Information Company has never been a smooth one. Alexa that has been in the scenario almost from the start of the Web had seen immense growth and popularity and then a pretty morbid phase. However, it went back to the drawing board and sketched out new ways to pull back the company to steadiness. Several new innovations and changes have been made to Alexa since the time of its inception partly to stay in sync with the changing times and demands and partly to combat its competitors. As for example, till some time back the popularity of various websites was measured by the data collected from the users of the Alexa toolbar. However, the company went for a change in April 2008. Today other factors, apart from the Alexa toolbar, are also taken into account to determine the popularity and traffic of a given website. However, the point to ponder is that the “other sources” that are determinant of a websites Alexa rankings are not clearly cut out. They are vague and misty. Nevertheless, Alexa is still one of the most credible and powerful players of the web.