An Alexa experiment

  • DatabaseDesigner
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My first post here.
I have read the rules.

Wanted to give you information about my experiment on Alexa, which is regarded by many webmasters for measuring popularity. I started to monitor it, have been watching it for 9 months, and then published my findings. You find it in my signature.

Moderator: I understand it so that this is ok. If not, tell me.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My personal opinions on Alexa.


This link pretty much sums them up:
http://www.itellu.com/spyware_alexa.htm

I remove all their data miner cookies everytime I run spyware removal tools. Their antics are not limited to the toolbar. All I have to do is surf the web for a short period of time and I have their data miner cookies in my temp folders.

I use the owner Amazon for purchases and will not discontinue use of Amazon because of this apparent invasion of Privacy. I do use Google toolbar, but at least Google gives you the option up front to disable this type of similar tracking or disable it.

Personally I'm not a big fan of Alexa, period.
  • DatabaseDesigner
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW,

Yes, when you can get those results as shown in the experiment, what is the value of it :?: :D

Don't understand why it's so much fuzz about it some places.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Section 2

http://simplythebest.net/info/spyware/a ... yware.html

Quote:
About the traffic ranking

Though the initial intention was useful, there are web site owners that abuse the system. They are generating page views using robots or even manually clicking through their own web site with the Alexa toolbar ON. Another major problem are xxx sites which generate an unlimited number of popups and as such heavily influence a traffic ranking system such as Alexa. Until Alexa is able to do something to prevent this, the Alexa traffic rank system is unreliable and does not necessarily reflect the reality, though this may be the case for some web sites. But then, how do you filter reality from fiction? The page view count is way off with its numbers, so you can disregard this statistic.

The original concept of Alexa (to offer you a method of estimating the traffic of any given web site) is turned into something lesser than was the creators' intention by the abusers. So was it a feasible concept to start with? There are no real alternatives at the present.


Alternative views:
http://hnb.typepad.com/home/2003/12/is_ ... pywar.html
http://www.spywareguide.com/product_show.php?id=418

OK -- so now let's get really technical. This one might surprise some folks. Let's see what Symantec has to say about it.

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/av ... alexa.html

I am quite familar with and confident in Symantec.
I cannot recall that I have ever seen any virus add that many registry keys. And to what purpose?

Bottom line -- I do not trust Alexa


///Edit -- and what business does Alexa have in adding reg keys to Microsoft Office? What's up with that?

Code: [ Select ]
"HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform\Alexa Toolbar"=""
"HKLM\SOFTWARE\Alexa Internet\Hosts\alexa.com"=0x0
"HKLM\SOFTWARE\Alexa Internet\expVis"=0x0
"HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Component Categories\{00021493-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\Enum\(Default)"=""
"HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Component Categories\{00021494-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\Enum\(Default)"=""
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\ProviderName"="Alexa Internet"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\QueryPath"="http://soap.alexa.com/office/alexa-pane"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\RegistrationPath"="http://soap.alexa.com/office/alexa-pane"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\AboutPath"="http://www.alexa.com"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Type"="SOAP"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Revision"=0x7B
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\UpdateStatus"=0x1
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Status"="Enabled"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Display"="On"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Parental"="On"
"HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\PersistData"=0x0
  1. "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform\Alexa Toolbar"=""
  2. "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Alexa Internet\Hosts\alexa.com"=0x0
  3. "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Alexa Internet\expVis"=0x0
  4. "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Component Categories\{00021493-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\Enum\(Default)"=""
  5. "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Component Categories\{00021494-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\Enum\(Default)"=""
  6. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\ProviderName"="Alexa Internet"
  7. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\QueryPath"="http://soap.alexa.com/office/alexa-pane"
  8. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\RegistrationPath"="http://soap.alexa.com/office/alexa-pane"
  9. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\AboutPath"="http://www.alexa.com"
  10. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Type"="SOAP"
  11. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Revision"=0x7B
  12. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\UpdateStatus"=0x1
  13. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Status"="Enabled"
  14. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Display"="On"
  15. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\Parental"="On"
  16. "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\Research\Sources\{19C33034-3878-4beb-B843-62C2761AFF96}\{56D356FA-B174-424b-BF3A-AF35E6A94DDE}\PersistData"=0x0
  • DatabaseDesigner
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW,

Thank you very much. Confirms a lot.
Of course, when you run Spybot and it is screaming "Spyware!" you start thinking...

Thank you very much for the cunning links! Very interesting :roll:
  • Jess
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Funny thing alexa - and the way webmasters use it.

Mention alexa and it gets a torraent of abuse. Yet launch a new site aimed at webmasters and you get comments like -

"alexa ratings not very high......."

Odd people them webmasters :P

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