This article is NOT about Amazon Alexa-enabled devices. Amazon has decided to shut down Alexa.com which is a company it bought ~20 years ago which offered an internet tracking service, monitoring traffic and behaviour as users navigated around websites. (Yes, there were some privacy concerns!). Amazon has shut this service down.
Amazon is not switching off its voice assistant Alexa or any of its Alexa-enabled devices. Don’t worry you’ll still be able to shout at that tiny black box in the corner of your room to turn your lights on next year!
If you are a user of Amazon’s Alexa.com service then you may have heard the news that Amazon closed its Amazon Alexa Internet service down on May 1st 2022.
Well, if you liked Amazon service and are looking for an alternative, then here’s a selection of great Internet marketing tools that give you the kind of competitive insights and website data that you are used to and have found so useful.
What was Amazon Alexa’s Internet service?
For the past 2 decades Amazon has been providing an Internet marketing data tool set. It offered a range of tools that gave you information about the most popular sites on the Internet and additionally some website analysis tools that helped you with things like increasing organic search performance.
It even had a handy browser plugin.
The most famous of which was the Alexa rank. The Alex Rank is a score which gives you an indicator of a website’s popularity on the Internet. It could be very useful, for example, as a measure to assess whether getting a link from a particular website would be valuable and help your SEO efforts.
The Internet service also included a number of other tools:
Site Metrics – this offered clickstream data which estimated data such as Daily Pageviews per Visitor, Daily Time on Site and Bounce rate. It also estimated the principal traffic sources for a domain and the geographical spread of a site’s audience. The Alexa platform also gave a figure for Total Sites Linking In (or total backlinks as SEOs would normally say).
Competitive Analysis – This estimated a site versus its competitors and provided some interesting data such as audience overlap with competitors, top keywords and top referring sites. The Alexa Site Flow data also informed you of the sites users visited just before your site and the sites users visited when they left your site.
Social Engagement Analysis – This provided some high-level social data such as:
Top Social Topics – Top topics by total engagement amongst this site and it’s competitors
Social Engagement – The total articles and average engagement across all sites
Popular Articles – Top articles by total engagement amongst this site and its competitors
Keyword Opportunities – Users could find some interesting keyword data such as:
Keyword Gaps – Keywords driving traffic to competitors, but not to this site
Easy-to-Rank Keywords – Popular keywords within this site’s competitive power
Buyer Keywords – Keywords that show a high purchase intent
Optimization Opportunities – Very popular keywords already driving some traffic to this site.
Traffic Statistics – Alexa Rank – A site’s rank in global internet traffic and engagement over the past 90 days.
Sadly after 20 years of being used by many Internet marketers, Amazon decided to close the service down with effect from May 2022.
With this in mind, I thought it would be useful to briefly summarise a range of alternative Internet marketing software and SEO tools that would give users the same kind of valuable insights as they have become accustomed to.
So if you’re considering which competitive analysis or search engine optimization tools to use as a result of Alexa being closed down, then look no further than this list of great alternative tools below.
Alternatives to Amazon’s Alexa - Saas Software for competitive analysis
If you are looking for a substitute tool or tools to fill the gap from Alexa.com being closed down then look no further than these half-a-dozen competitor intelligence SaaS tools.
Authoritas – A big data-driven SEO platform
Ahrefs – A very well renowned SEO platform
Comscore – Another competitive analysis tool
SEMrush – Another data-driven SEO platform
SimilarWeb – A comprehensive competitive analysis tool
Tranco – a free source of the most popular 1mn domains on the planet
Of these tools, I have to say that SimilarWeb and Comscore probably come closest to Alexa.com in data collection methods, data collected and data insights reported. The SEO software tools listed provide some similar metrics (not all) in a way that’s probably more geared around using the competitive insights gained to gain ground and overtake one’s competitors. In short, the focus is on putting all this big data to work for your business.
Here’s a quick summary of the comparable tools I am familiar with – there are no doubt others I have missed. Take a look at them all and ask yourself which one(s) are focused on helping create the kind of impact on the growth of your business that you desire.
Well I had to mention us first, not because I’ve listed all the tools alphabetically because I haven’t, but because (although I may be slightly biased) I do feel we offer some great ways of analysing a website’s competitors with a focus on actionable insights that you can use to drive positive results as opposed to just showing you data for data’s sake..
We have a range of tools that can help Internet marketers with competitive analysis including;
Visibility Explorer which allows you to download SEO visibility and keyword ranking data for any site worldwide.
Project Visibility which allows you very granular analysis at a keyword tag level of your SEO performance versus your competitors. This is very useful for e-commerce businesses for example who want to track market share by category.
Market share/content strategy is a big data tool that analyses your top hundred competitors in the marketplace to do content gap analysis at scale. For the largest sites and the most demanding of clients you can analyse a whole market of millions of keywords and help you find the best opportunities for your SEO and content marketing strategies. Oh, and you can download them all!
Competitor backlink analysis is a set of tools that uses Majestic SEO backlink data to help you piggyback off your competitors’ outreach, PR and link building campaigns. By providing you with unique metrics such as influence and relevance of each linking website, SEO professionals can understand where their competitors are getting their very best links from and can target those sites for links.
In a similar way to how Authoritas and SEMrush work, this SEO tool allows you to query any domain and get insights on its SEO visibility, its ranking pages, keywords and backlinks. You can also download this data to MS Excel or CSV format. But do bear in mind that, unlike with Authoritas, downloads are limited to a certain number of rows according to the pricing package you have subscribed to. For a much more detailed breakdown of how ahrefs compares to other SEO tools, including Authoritas, please have a look at our comparison page.
Ahrefs Is one of the most well-known SEO tools out there. It has five main tools which are Site Audit, Rank Tracker, Site Explorer, Keyword Explorer and Content Explorer.
Comscore has been collecting market research data on Internet users via an opt-in panel of consumers for many years.
Last time I checked it had as many as 2 million users on its panel. These users have opted-in to have their online behaviour tracked. Comscore anonymizes and aggregates this data to give you very detailed insights into users habits and behaviour when it comes to multi-platform content measurement. Providing competitive insights in areas such as;
Demographic composition and engagement
Audience behaviours, lifestyles, and digital interests.
Competitor metrics such as unique visitors, reach, time spent and cross-visitation.
It is good for planning and evaluating media across many multi-media platforms including digital, linear TV, over-the-top (OTT) and theatrical viewership.
Whilst this data can be extremely useful for a variety of Internet marketing disciplines such as media planning and PR planning, do take into consideration that it does not have the kind of actionable tools and insights that most Internet marketers and SEO professionals crave.
Another one of the big boys in the internet marketing game. Semrush started out in Russia and has since become an American company even listing on the NYSE (SEMR).
Semrush also maintains its own database of keywords which it uses to query google at regular intervals to give you SEO visibility data at a page and keyword level for any domain you like in the majority of markets worldwide.
In terms of competitive analysis it does a very thorough job giving you insights about your competitors organic and paid search activity.
It also allows you to use your competitors to help you with your keyword research by identifying contact gaps and by analysing which websites are linking to them.
Again, also some great tools and data – especially if you are also interested in tracking your competitors’ paid ads. Please bear in mind that packages limit the amount of data you can download for any given website.
SimilarWeb is an Israeli technology company that collects data via ISPs and SDKs from iPhone and Android apps. In a very similar way to the way Amazon’s Alexa service collected data, SimilarWeb allows you to install its tracking code on your website and provides an SDK to third-party developers to install in their apps, to track user behaviour across the web and apps, allowing it to collect enormous amounts of clickstream data to fuel its product and to benchmark its algorithms against.
This clickstream data is quite hard to come by these days, and major privacy issues have been raised in some quarters questioning or at least raising issues around the transparency and legality of clickstream data collection methods generally, users’ expectations and rights to expect privacy and whether tools using this data respect local data protection laws and privacy regulations.
This is not to say that SimilarWeb’s methods are not in compliance with your local laws and regulations covering such matters, I have not looked into them and they may very well all be above board. But, it’s worth thinking through and maybe checking the T & Cs yourselves, especially since the demise of Jumpshot which was shuttered by another internet giant, this time internet security behemoth Avast and the subsequent closure of competitor intelligence tool Hitwise.
So, a second internet giant shutters a reasonably sized subsidiary business offering internet marketing data and tools built on clickstream data. It does beg the question, especially considering the raft of data privacy regulations in recent years such as GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and POPI; are the days of tools relying on clickstream data numbered?
This being said, SimilarWeb does give you some great insights as it allows you to get estimates of traffic and sources of traffic to competing websites and also details about estimated demographics of the visitors and their behaviour. The recent acquisition of Embee gives it even more unique mobile app data insights.
This is an outlier in this group of competitive tools as it is focused on just replicating one aspect of Amazon Alexa service which is providing a rating of the top 1 million sites on the web today.
Click here to download the list of top 1 million domains.
It does this by amalgamating a variety of different lists together to sense check and avoid bias in the data. These data sets included Amazon’s own Alexa Internet database of domains ordered by Alexa rank; data from Cisco Umbrella which comes from its global network data with 100 billion daily requests from 65 million users per day; our partner Majestic’s top 1 million domains by link popularity and Quantcast.
Whilst it is not a competitive SaaS tool, If you are just looking for a list of the most popular global domains then look no further because you can download a list of the top 1 million websites for free.
Summary of options
No single tool is going to replicate the data and tools that Alexa used to provide, but there are a number of great options if you are looking for a replacement and most of them have free or low-cost trials, so feel free to give them a go.
Ahrefs is one of the best known SEO platforms around, however there are some good alternatives to consider if you are thinking of switching to another SEO software tool or looking for a tool that compliments Ahref's capabilities and enhances your overall SEO efficiency and effectiveness.
SEMrush is one of the best known SEO platforms around, however there are some good alternatives to consider if you are thinking of switching to another SEO software tool or looking for a tool that compliments SEMrush's capabilities and enhances your overall SEO efficiency and effectiveness.