Alexa, an Amazon-owned search company started by Bruce Gilliat and Brewster Kahle, is going to offer its index up to anyone who wants it. Alexa has about 5 billion documents in its index – about 100 terabytes of data.
OK, step back, and think about that. Anyone can use Alexa’s index, to build anything. But wait, there’s more. Much more.
Anyone can also use Alexa’s servers and processing power to mine its index to discover things – perhaps, to outsource the crawl needed to create a vertical search engine, for example. Or maybe to build new kinds of search engines entirely, or …well, whatever creative folks can dream up. And then, anyone can run that new service on Alexa’s (er…Amazon’s) platform, should they wish.
In other words, Alexa and Amazon are turning the index inside out, and offering it as a web service that anyone can mashup to their hearts content. Entrepreneurs can use Alexa’s crawl, Alexa’s processors, Alexa’s server farm….the whole nine yards.