Alexa.com announced that it will be retiring its marketing services after 25 years. Founded in 1996, Alexa was subsequently acquired by Amazon in 1999. It was initially known for providing rankings based on traffic measured through a toolbar but Alexa eventually expanded to provide a full suite of marketing products including site auditing and backlink checking.
Screenshot From Alexa Content Marketing
Alexa.com provides a full suite of search marketing tools. However what it’s mainly known for is their Alexa Rank.
Alexa Rank is a metric that offers a measurement of site popularity.
In the early 2000s the data was collected via an Alexa toolbar that users downloaded and surfed with. The toolbars collected web traffic information from the users which fed into the Alexa Rank site popularity metric.
Web publishers could also install a script on their site that reported traffic which could then be used to raise their Alexa Rank scores.
The Alexa Rank scores were generally viewed with suspicion because some people claimed that installing the toolbar and visiting ones own sites could result in dramatically raising the Alexa Rank score.
Another criticism of Alexa Rank was that the data was more relevant for Asian countries than in English speaking countries. This was based on the rumor that the Alexa toolbar use base was heavily weighted towards users in Korea and not users in English speaking countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
The negative reputation of Alexa Rank and anything offered by Alexa was sealed by 2005.
One search marketer in a 2005 forum discussion remarked:
“Isn’t it time for Amazon to throw in the towel on Alexa? For a company that does so many things well, Alexa is really a blight on their reputation. Why would they want to be associated with such garbage.”
Nevertheless, use of the Alexa Rank metric continued to be used by a dwindling amount of search marketers.
For example, to this day there are some companies that offer affiliate programs and use Alexa Rank to determine the popularity of potential affiliate partners and will not accept affiliates whose websites do not reach a minimum Alexa Rank popularity threshold.
Alexa Was More Than A Site Popularity Ranking Metric
It might come as a surprise to many that Alexa offered a complete suite of search marketing and analytics programs.
For some reason the Alexa suite of online marketing tools, which included a backlink checker, was almost kept as a secret, with apparently no outreach to the search marketing community or seemingly no promotional activity to speak of.
Alexa crawled the entire Internet and for many years provided snapshots of the Internet to Archive.org. It’s backlink information was extensive.
Because of that it was able to offer services like showing which backlinks competitors have in common, including as many as ten competitors at a time.
Screenshot Of An Alexa Backlink Information Page
The Alexa $149/month plan offered:
- Content Exploration
- Competitive Content Analysis
- Topic Research
- Top Publishers by Topic
- Competitive Analysis
- Competitor Keyword Matrix
- Keyword Difficulty Tool
- Keyword Share of Voice
- Organic Keywords
- Paid Keywords
- Site Audits
- On-Page SEO Checker
- Competitor Backlink Checker
- Backlink Checks
- Audience Analysis
Alexa announced that it will all be going away on May 1, 2022.
The announcement was short and with no explanation as to what led to the decision.
“Twenty-five years ago, we founded Alexa Internet. After two decades of helping you find, reach, and convert your digital audience, we’ve made the difficult decision to retire Alexa.com on May 1, 2022.
Thank you for making us your go-to resource for content research, competitive analysis, keyword research, and so much more.”
Alexa offered a powerful suite of SEO and marketing tools and it’s sad to see them go away.
Many people didn’t know about the tools and perhaps it might still be around if it had been promoted better.