Amazon.com is throwing open its Alexa search engine to web and software developers, to create customized searches and vertical search engines,thereby offering them the ability to specify web crawls for around 5 billion documents in Alexa’s index.
Alexa is best known for the web traffic statistics it provides forsites, and was acquired by Amazon in 1999.
The “Alexa Web Search Platform” offers 3 online web snapshots of up to100 terabytes each, plus tools for sifting through content so developers can create their own data sets. Developers can upload, compile, and run their own programs on a processing cluster; store their output on astorage cluster; integrate their data into a search index; and access their search through Amazon’s Web services.
Reportedly Rainer Typke, a Netherlands-based web developer, has already used the service to help people search for music by whistling a melody on his web site – musipedia.org.