Amazon.com's Alexa Internet division has launched a service for developers today that offers over a hundred terabytes (define) of Website information. Alexa Internet, which has been crawling the Web since 1996, said it has data on some 4.5 billion Web pages covering 16 million sites.
The company's Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS) is being released after a beta test period of one year, during which over 3,000 developers used it.
Examples of Web site information in AWIS that developers can draw on are:
-- URL Information about millions of Web sites, including traffic rank, load speed, related links, site owner contact information and adult content identification.
-- Browse Category, everything that is needed to build a site browse tree, including lists of sub-categories for a top-level category, most popular sites in a category and all sites within the category.
-- Web search based on Alexa's crawl. This includes support for advanced queries, so developers can construct difficult queries and incorporate the answers into their applications.
-- Crawl meta data for specific pages found in the Alexa crawl, including size, checksum, frames, images and links.
-- Web Map, a topographic representation of Alexa's Web crawl displaying all links in and out for specific pages on the Web.
"The service is ready to roll," Geoff Mack, Alexa product manager, told internetnews.com. "I think we're speaking to a whole new class of developers based on the Web 2.0 concept, where Alexa does some of the hard work for them, so they can simply pull from our databases and focus more energy on the things they're good at."
While you may not connect e-commerce giant Amazon.com to developer tools, the company launched its Web Services platform in July 2002, and it says over 140,000 developers have signed up since to use it. There is no charge for the first 10,000 AWIS requests made by a developer each month, and each additional request is only $0.00015.
The new AWIS is designed to let developers get information about the Web and programmatically incorporate those answers directly into their applications, which could be an anything from an e-commerce site or storefront affiliated with Amazon.com to a specialty search service.
"Undoubtedly, some of this will feed back to the Amazon eco-retail system, but we've already seen many independent developers take advantage of this for their own private services," Adam Selipsky, vice president of Web services at Amazon.com, told internetnews.com.
One such example is AdBrite, which used the beta version of AWIS to enhance its existing service and is now a paying customer. AdBrite is a marketplace for buying and selling advertising space on thousands of Web sites.
"At AdBrite, we have 150 to 200 publications sign up every day," explained Philip Kaplan, CEO of AdBrite, said in a statement. "One of the major statistics we can provide is their Alexa ranking to help determine their popularity versus other Web sites. The fact that AWIS is a Web service means that we dedicate minimal software development resources while offering a service to our customers that is invaluable in their decision-making process."
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