Amazon is using the Thanksgiving break to quietly release some bad news – they’re shutting down one of its web services – Alexa Web Search. The service, which we first covered way back in 2006, is already closed to new customers, and existing users have until January 26, 2009 to move on to something else.
Amazon says in an email to developers that the reason for the closing is low usage, and I believe them. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all offer competing services. On the Alexa Web Search site itself Amazon says the service has been “deprecated,” which is a fancy word for shut down.
Dear Alexa Developer,
The Alexa Web Search service will no longer be available to new customers as of November 26, 2008. Use of the service is low, so we are shifting our priorities to other areas where we can provide better service to AWS customers.
The Alexa Web Search service will continue to be operational for 60 days until January 26, 2009. The ProgrammableWeb website offers a list of web services that provide web search.
We apologize for the inconvenience to you.
The Alexa Web Services Team