Amazon opens up Alexa for a fee

Amazon opens up Alexa for a fee

Online e-commerce giant Amazon has taken a big decision of opening up its Alexa service to let users make their own customized search engines for a fee. The company is offering the ability to specify web crawls for the 5 billion documents in Alexa’s index. Alexa is a web service offered by the company to provide web statistics on websites and it itself started out as a search engine quite a long time ago.

The Alexa Web Search Platform is in beta stage currently and the company claims that the service would enable the developers to “create new search services without having to invest millions of dollars in crawl, storage, processing, search, and server technology”. They would be charging a modest $1 for each CPU hour, gigabyte of storage, gigabyte of data uploaded, and 50 gigabytes of data processed.

Most other search engines generally offer just web APIs to interact with their databases, which are not very usable to create your own customized search engines. Alexa’s offer would be valuable for those users cannot afford to spend millions on developing customized search engine solutions for their customers.

Amazon also said that the Alexa Web Search Platform will offer three online web snapshots of up to 100 terabytes each, along with tools for sifting through content so developers can create their own data sets.

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