Library Technology Guides

Document Repository

Alexa, a new Internet search tool

Library Systems Newsletter [October 1997]

Alexa Internet, Inc., a small San Francisco area start-up company, has launched a new Internet search tool called "Alexa" which looks for patterns within the Web. Rather than bringing up all sites which contain the keywords which has been entered, it retrieves a limited number of sites. Once the user has identified a site which is suitable, Alexa points the user to similar sites. A search on package delivery services which retrieves UPS will, if that site is selected as suitable, provide references to FedEx, DHL, Worldwide Express, and a score of other services. Alexa does this by looking for Web sites with similar content, then linking them together. Pat-terns of use affect the subsequent link-ages. If few users jump from the initial site to a linked site, that site is dropped as a future link. Alexa provides a brief profile of each suggested site, including the name of the organization running the site, the speed of its com-puters, and the number of pages in the site.

Alexa can be downloaded free. The company hopes to make money from its ser-vice by means of advertising in a box at the bottom of each screen. Currently, however, it is relying on venture capital provided by Etoile, the Swiss company that owns Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

Alexa is a software add-on for Web browsers. It requires that Netscape or Microsoft Explorer by loaded. It also requires 16MB of RAM. The URL is

View Citation
Publication Year:1997
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 17 Number 10
Issue:October 1997
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Subject: Internet search engines
Record Number:5649
Last Update:2023-11-14 20:54:09
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00