Alexa announcement reality check

Alexa announcement reality check: Search guru Danny Sullivan says “wait a minute” on all the genuflection taking place regarding the announcement that Alexa will start offering a “fee-based vertical search service.”


How about more rain on the parade? Well, what could you use instead of Alexa? Let’s see:

  • Rollyo:
    Just out, allows you to create a vertical search engine by giving it a list of
    sites. Under the hood, Rollyo is tapping into Yahoo and refining it.
  • Gigablast: Get your own
    custom vertical search engine right now, for free, by using
    Custom Topic Search. It’s been
    out for nearly
    a year
    . Want some type of hosted service or something special. If it’s not
    listed here, I’ve no
    doubt Gigablast will step up to deliver.
  • Vortaloptics: This specialty
    firm began offering services back in 2003, offering to create vertical search
    engines for anyone. I

    about them at the time as perhaps signaling a return to easy-to-make
    vertical search engines that looked likely before the dotcom downturn. They’ve
    been quiet, so perhaps no one’s taking them up on things. But then again,
    perhaps the Alexa move might revitalize things.
  • Google AdSense For
    : Want to search the entire web, just as Alexa offers? Out
    last year
    , Google’s more than happy to give you access to its entire
    database, for free, along with ads ready to go right alongside it. Nope,
    vertical search isn’t as easy. You could try
    Google search
    , or the Google API
    might help. If not, fair to say Alexa’s move will spur Google along to
    offering more and probably for free, if you want to carry ads.


  • Yahoo Search
    Marketing Partner Solutions
    : Yahoo doesn’t have a self-serve custom web
    search program similar to Google, but that’s only a matter of time. Until
    then, if you’re big enough, they’ll do custom solutions. Not big enough?
    There’s the Yahoo
    Search API
    you can tap into.

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