Alexa: A Lackluster Example Application

11 May

Alexa: A Lackluster Example Application

Do you personally know anyone who has the Alexa Toolbar installed on their machine? No? Well me neither. Many people claim that the Alexa ranking is a bona fide representation of how their websites are doing online as compared to the plethora of other websites out there, but I am here to disprove that myth.

According to Alexa themselves, their traffic ranking are determined by the users that actually have and use the Alexa Toolbar. Here is their words exactly:

"Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users. The information is sorted, sifted, anonymized, counted, and computed, until, finally, we get the traffic rankings shown in the Alexa service. The process is relatively complex, but if you have a need to know, please read on."

So where does the traffic of other users going to your website get measured? Well...no where I think. I have personally seen this in action. A website that has doubled or even tripled their uniques, hits and page views was hit with a decrease in the "Alexa Ranking". Well maybe the users that actually use that website do not have the Alexa Toolbar installed.

Granted that Alexa could be an ok gauge to see where you would rank among the other websites of the world, but they are not the end all be all. I think this would be the same basis for things like the Google Page Ranking system as well; which get their information by their own proprietary algorithms and such.

So where could you get such information that is considerably more accurate?

If you are looking for your own website statistics, then I would suggest some of the following:

Google Analytics
Web CEO
Awstats

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