Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alexa: The Web MIS-Information Company

In my estimation. Alexa needs to be thoroughly spanked.

At the very least, this company needs to offer an easier platform so that information can be updated easier, keeping in mind that

1. Not every website owner has activated the feature. For, my registrar charges extra for domain-based email, and I don't need this to conduct my business, so I'm not inclined to pop for this so that I can do Alexa's job for them.

2. Not everyone is tech-savvy enough to place a code .txt code on one's site. In fact, I'm not even sure my blogger site offers this feature, and even if it did, I wouldn't know how to use it.

So I emailed Alexa directly FROM MY EMAIL OF DOMAIN RECORD along with a link to my WHOIS information and asked that they please update my information manually. I recieved this email from Alexa's customer NO SERVICE:

Thank you for contacting Alexa regarding the contact information for your website.

In order to protect our users, Alexa's contact information submission tool ( ) only accepts submissions for sites when the submitter's email address matches the site's domain. In other words, if you are trying to submit/change/de-list information for, you must use an email address that ends in You can use any address from that domain;,,,, etc. This is the easiest automatic way that Alexa can confirm that you are a legitimate representative of the site, and allows us to process your submissions more quickly.

In cases where the email address does not match the domain of the site, you can submit your changes to be verified automatically by following the instructions on the Contact Information Editor page. These are just below the field where you would have submitted your domain-matching email address if you had one.

This method involves placing a text file we will generate for you on the root of your site, verifying that the text file is in place, and sending our crawler to "fetch" the contact info. This process essentially demonstrates that you are authorized to make site-level changes and expediting your updates. For example, if your site was, the info.txt file would go at

In order to use this method, proceed through the Contact Information Editor until you reach the page that shows an overview of the data you've changed on the previous page's web form. Look just below the "Continue" button for the section titled "Or, Place a file called info.txt on the root of your site" and follow the instructions.

If the "info.txt" method will not work in your case, you may reply to this message with the information you would like to have us update, and a link to somewhere on your site that our editors can visit to verify the legitimacy of the request (somewhere that has your contact information and lists this e-mail address, for example--to be sure nobody's trying to change your information without permission), we'll be happy to make the changes manually. Please use the info.txt format, for clarity.

Changes made to contact information will appear in our live Service within one to two weeks.

We appreciate your interest in Alexa.

Best regards,

Alexa Internet Customer Service

Huh? You got that? I sure didn't.

I don't put personal contact information on my website, and I use a different email that I give out to web users, which is why I emailed them directly from my email of record. I don't WANT my Whois email to appear on my site.

So this was my admittedly snarky response (which was never answered, by the way):

I don't use domain-based emails, and I'm not going to start now. My registrar charges extra for this, and I have discovered that the domain ends up on the black list because spammers LOVE hitching onto domain emails. I'm not sure what the problem is; I gave you to my Whois link for the domain--it's big as day there. And THIS email is the email of record. I don't have time to figure out your coding system, and I certainly don't want to download your toolbar (or anyone else's for that matter). If you want to maintain incorrect information for people's websites, knock yourself out. In the end, it's your company that will look like a big doofus corporation.

Meanwhile, my website will continue chugging along as usual and my traffic is recording with or without you. Have a nice day.

Let me make this clear: the WRONG information remains on the Alexa site. I'm sure that Edmund Skellings of Florida would prefer that his personal information be taken off Alexa's site, and I would sure like to see the following information put in its place:

Site Owner: Jennifer International

Email: Bugzita[at] [which, for obvious reasons is different from my Whois email, which is why I originally emailed Alexa from my Whois email]

The rest of the fields to be left blank.

Would that be so difficult?

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