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I Would guess they call the last site visited which matches some keywords, and then add it.
I think in most cases it's not very easy to change, unless the site isn't very popular.
Turns out that I was the only person to ever use this page and it was just picking up the links I came in from...
joined:July 3, 2002
Guess where I had been spending my time....
But, now that you mention it, it might be that somebody with the toolbar had been working their way down the sites in that category.
What I find strange is that whilst more than 80% of my visitors are not Dutch, 90% of all suggested links are Dutch.
In a way, once the links are suggested, they would tend to reinforce their placement, purely by the fact that they show up and ask to be clicked on.
I share Brett's feeling about the seeming randomness of the Alexa site suggestions. Sometimes they seem quite logical, other times kind of mystifying, e.g., low volume sites instead of the logical, higher volume ones that you know must have common visits.
I suppose Brett could conduct an experiment - post a link to a desirable partner site here, then suggest we turn on our toolbars and click it. An experiment would no doubt be easier on a lower volume site, though, where a couple of hundred clicks on a related site would overwhelm whatever junk was in the database.
a couple of products / modules i have developed based on search behaviour get *really* erratic when they are dealing with low volumes of data, and i guess it is the same for any stats processing, which is effectively what this is doing.
an off-beam result doesn't matter when you are dealing with a large dataset, but can completely screw the output of a small dataset.
1) People who visit this page also visit. This is the same technology used by Amazon.com, originally written by Alexa. Because of the massive volume of this data it only gets updated every two months or so. Generally you wouldn't have to worry about your own "paths" generating Related Links because more than one unique user needs to make the path before it is deemed relevant.
2) Suggestions. Users can suggest links via a form on the bottom of the detail pages. Sometimes these get spammed, but Alexa Editors review all the suggestions and try to clean out all the junk.
3) Links found on the web (including DMOZ, Yahoo, and the rest of the web.) Basically, if two links appear side-by-side on the web, they are deemed to have a relationship. Relevancy goes up if the relationship is confirmed on multiple sites. Sometimes these can be weird relationships(have you seen some of the categories in DMOZ and Yahoo?)
4) Editors. Sometimes people just need to get involved and make links happen.
Lastly, if there are numerous links, they are sorted by increasing the relevance of links that are found by more than one of the methods above.
If you need to change links that appear in relation to your page you can use the suggestion form. But there's no guarantee they will ever show up. If there's some link that is particularly irrelevant or unflattering you can contact email@example.com and they can take some action.