What is Alexa Toolbar?
The Alexa Toolbar is an application produced by Alexa Internet, is a Browser Helper Object for Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows that is used by Alexa to measure website statistics. It includes a popup blocker, a search engine entry box, a link to Amazon.com, a link to Alexa, information about the current Alexa ranking of the website that the user is visiting, and links relevant to the site the user is browsing. By early 2005 there had been over 10 million downloads of the toolbar, according to Alexa. But the company does not provide info on how many of them are actually used. According to one estimate made in March 2003, Alexa had a sample size of 180,000.
There are some privacy concerns about the toolbar, as it requests site data from Alexa and there is no information on how long Alexa stores these usage trails. Because of this, many anti-spyware programs label it as such. Though it is usually installed willingly, third-parties sometimes distribute the toolbar or access Alexa’s API.
A third-party developer supplied plugin for the Firefox browser served as the only solution after Amazon abandoned its A9 toolbar. On July 16, 2007 Alexa released an official toolbar for Firefox called Sparky.