June 25, 2013
There is a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet in
regards to how
Alexa tracks traffic, how Alexa
rankings work and how they impact your
SEO rankings (or don't).
I want to add some clarity to this
situation so within this upcoming thread I am going to be walking
you through Alexa, how it works, and help you decide whether or not
it serves any importance towards your online campaigns and success.
So if you are ready, I am going to get right into the inner workings
How do Alexa Rankings
Alexa rankings display several metrics.
Alexa traffic rank
Traffic Rank in US
Sites Linking in,
...and, within their charts, you can see
the different fields that you can graph out your website history
(see example chart below)
Alexa Website Ranking
BIG QUESTION: But where does Alexa get
their data from and is it reliable?
Alexa gets their rankings from the Alexa Toolbar,
which people install into their browsers and it basically tracks
their activity around the Internet, the websites they visit, and how
often they visit.
This is where they get most of their data from, so they really do
have a minute set of data to work with as only a small fraction of
people actually have the Alexa toolbar installed (guestimates say
around 15-20 million downloads… many of these no longer active),
with a good deal of these being people that are Internet marketers
who want to track their Alexa rankings.
Along with that, they claim to get data from "other" unknown sources
as well (yeah…)
Another concern is the fact that the toolbar is considered to be
"adware" by MacAfee while Symantec another major
anti-virus program considers the toolbar "trackware" because of the
nature of how it works (it tracks and stores all of your web
If you have it installed, you can best
bet that all of your activities are being tracked and the data you
are using it for really is deemed quite useless, because it is not
real traffic data...
Increase Your Alexa Ranking?
If you wanted to "game" Alexa, it is actually quite easy.
But first, the most obvious way would be to get more website traffic
to increase your Alexa rankings right? Wrong. More traffic does not
equate to higher traffic rankings in Alexa.
In fact, in late 2012 I personally ran
some tests and comparisons between two completely independent
websites just for peace of mind and to validate all of my
assumptions about Alexa over the years (that it was more of a gag
site than anything).
In my test, Website A was getting 20,000+ unique visitors per day,
and Website B was getting just over 1,000+ uniques per day.
In other words Website A was getting 20
times the traffic of Website B, yet the Alexa rank had Website B
getting double the traffic within their reporting!??
Completely bogus. Alexa ranking data is completely bogus. The
obvious, but ineffective way to get higher Alexa rankings would be
to get more traffic to your website but this is simply not the case.
The correct way to get higher Alexa rankings is to get more people
to visit your website that have the Alexa toolbar installed.
I am not going to go into details, but based on my first point there
are very few data triggers that Alexa has to work off of that are
not publicly available. They have no access to ACTUAL website data
(only the owner of a website has access to actual traffic stats).
The traffic data they use is based on their toolbar, so naturally
the more people that visit your site that have the toolbar installed
will improve your Alexa rank (hint, hint).
How to Check
Many of you are probably wondering where to go to find out your
You can actually do this directly
through their website, or you can install their "adware" toolbar (not
Alexa Domain Search
Again, take your ranking with a grain of salt. It won't benefit you
in any way knowing your Alexa, nor will it be a sound indicator of
how your website ranks compared to others out there.
The reason: They DO NOT
have this data!
If you are interested in finding out where your website ranks in
Google, an important metric when determining your SEO effectiveness
there are tools that can scan Google's search results and tell you
where you are ranked (what page you are on) under specific keywords.
If you want to find out what page you are ranked on in Google,
I recommend that you use
Jaaxy.com for this.
Package, Is it Worth It?
On the Alexa website you will notice there are many different
services they are attempting to sell you.
You will see something similar to this
within the Alexa sidebar when you are on their site…
I also have personally tried these services (Get Certified Metrics)
for testing purposes and can honestly tell you that you are buying
into an empty offer.
The "Get Certified Metrics" is a service where you have to pay to
give Alexa your accurate data.
Shouldn't they be paying you for this?
You will see absolutely no value from doing this and if you are even
remotely interested in taking advantage of this, please do save your
Does Alexa Rank Have
Anything to Do With SEO?
Recently it appears that many folks have been vastly misinformed as
to how Alexa works and what the purpose of Alexa is.
There are folks going around the
Internet touting an Alexa score as some sort of indicator as to how
well a website ranks in Google or how it reflects website success.
However, Alexa rank has no correlation to SEO (Search Engine
Optimization) or how well a site gets indexed. So if someone
tells you that Alexa means something and tout it as a reason to join
their service, you may want to head the other way.
Secondly, Alexa offers Web Analytics toolkits for $149 per
This service is a complete redundancy if
you have Google Analytics (which is free) and in fact, the Alexa
Advanced Plan will offer you inferior data to that you can get with
Analytics and Webmaster Tools, both free services offer by Google.
So Alexa will not efficiently or accurately track your traffic and
they will not be able to serve as any sort of indicator in respect
If you want to get SEO help, the best
thing you can do is to learn about it yourself and there are
services out there that can help you
out with this. If you want to get help with your rankings in Google,
you can get up and running know with some REAL education.
I hope this has added some clarity to the whole Alexasphere and if
you do have anything in addition to add, any Alexa experiences or
any questions about any of this content, drop me a note below and I
will be more than happy to discuss.
Is that a Reliable Traffic Measurement Tool?
by Abrar Mohi Shafee
December 11, 2014
As I've seen so far, Alexa ranking is the nucleus of many thriving
Especially those which concentrate on
making profits. Because the advertisers are more likely to use Alexa
as a traffic measurement tool. So boosting up traffic rank might
make a jump up in the number of clients.
That's the concept where both marketers and advertisers are oriented
to. The webmasters keep them busy to lead a solid Alexa position
where the buyers set their goals. They feel it will be a win-win
opportunity for them. But very soon they will come to realize that
was totally wrong.
How? Let me keep you curious till the end of the post. Because there
are some surprising notes waiting for you.
So let me introduce you their traffic
ranking system sequentially.
user's point of view: What is Alexa?
As everyone think, Alexa is a global ranking system which records
traffic data and sort them by the value.
The website that hits higher traffic
ranks higher and lower traffic ranks lower as usual. The algorithm
works depending upon the last 3 months historical data collected
from the public frequency of visits.
They use to combine the number of page views and the number of
unique visitors to come up with a public rank number. They also put
in some backup info to support their algorithm, for example: bounce
rate, average page visit time, audience demography, geography and
The ranking system audits websites in their global data panel and
provide a public figure, that could also be called trust figure.
They recommend, sites ranked under 100,000 are trustworthy and serve
something valuable on the web.
So the webmasters place their their
targets to get among the 1 lac.
But the collision:
What actually Alexa rank is?
The user's point of view is reasonable.
Because that knowledge has been spread
through many websites. Even I agree with it except one. The whole
process is loyal but for toolbar. They only use toolbar collected
data into their algorithm.
It's not me saying. Alexa has written it by himself.
Take a closer look here on the
Alexa could not exist without the
participation of the Alexa Toolbar community. Each member of the
community, in addition to getting a useful tool, gives back.
By using the Firefox, Chrome and IE
toolbars, every member contributes valuable information about
the web, how it's used, what's important and what isn't. Alexa
returns this information to the community as Traffic Ranks,
Related Links, and more.
Source: Alexa Toolbar
They have clear explanation how actually
it works. It's all true, they put as many factors as possible in
their algorithm to determine how a site should rank.
But that is all depended upon the
toolbar enabled visitors, not on them without.
Study #1: Alexa is bullshit
This study was originally made by Syed Balkhi who is very
much popular for his blog WPBeginner. A few months ago, he chose
to show how Alexa is a total bullshit.
He has 3 popular sites:
WPBeginner.com (AR 1,684)
List25.com (AR 14,384)
OptinMonster.com (AR 16,371)
Though all 3 sites are under 20k
websites, the order is completely wrong.
Among these three websites, List25 is the most popular and gets
way better traffic than WPBeginner, according to his Google
Analytics report. But still WPBeginner has been ranked to the
Contrary, List25 gets 6000% more
traffic than OptinMonster but still ranked around List25.
Do you know why? Because WPBeginner and OptinMonster users are
more likely to use Alexa toolbar because the niche is relative
to the toolbar. But List25 is a kind of different, because the
niche people do not use toolbar that much.
That's why their ranking system is
estimated with the use of toolbar, not with the genuine number
of global traffic. You can check the original study
Study #2: Alexa is a waste of time
This study was originally made by Marcus Sheridan, who is the
author of The Sales Lion, a very talented marketer.
He has 2 websites:
TheSalesLion.com (AR 46,862)
RiverPoolsandSpas.com (AR 214,222)
According to his post, TheSalesLion
gets 350-500 visitors a day where RiverPoolsandSpas gets around
1500-2000 a day.
But you can see TheSalesLion has
ranked 46K where RiverPoolsandSpas has 214K. All because of the
toolbar as most of TheSalesLion readers are using that. So this
is another great example why it is a waste in some case.
You can check the original study