The Popularity Contest (and the 0.01%)

One may think that breaking into the Alexa top 1 Million might be hard. Well it isn't, malware does it all the time.

If you monitor the Alexa list for any length of time, it won't take long to suddenly have ALOT more urls that one million that your categorization system engineers are worrying about, and that they need to keep categorized, and updated. It's one thing to put resources into categorizing a million urls once, but it's an entirely different problem when your "top list" list changes by just 0.01% every single day with new never-before-seen domains.

Alexa Top 1 million experiences an average churn of 5,000 to 10,000 new never-before-seen domain additions on a daily basis. Every day.

It turns out that the 0.01% is not just confined to the lower quarter, or even lower half. Sites move on and off and change position all over the list on daily basis, even in the top 100,000 and even the top 10,000 (0.01%) isn't immune.

Some are one-day wonders, others come and go. We've found malware urls lurking in the top 500, which is a little disconcerting, because well, they just shouldn't be that popular!

Were do these new "movers" come from, where others go? Instant "cat video" popularity, blackhat SEO, and advertising are just a few of the drivers of the churn, but unless you're in the business of categorizing website content you probably don't care. And shouldn't.

Anyone can get on the Alexa top one million list, even if it is just once. We know, we see newbies no less than 5,000 times a day on just this "top" list alone. We do all this, so our OEM partners don't have to worry about, well, things like this. Need an OEM website categorization and URL reputation partner? Then click here to request an evaluation of inCompass.<\p>

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NetSTAR has become a global leader in providing high-quality OEM web categorization solutions to technology and telco partners. We deliver advanced categorization and filtering technology for URLs, IPs, web/SaaS apps, and mobile apps. Our categorization solutions and associated threat intelligence are used by hundreds of OEM partners around the globe, supporting over 1 billion endpoints.

NetSTAR has offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Tokyo, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alps System Integration Co., Ltd. ALSI: Alps Electric Group.