When it comes to Alexa Rank I usually hear both sides of the story : the story by those who swear by Alexa and are proud to showcase their rankings … and the story by those who claim those results are not accurate and don’t matter much in regards of your site health.
So since there is a lot of misinformation floating around I decided to look into it and try to give you an honest answer. What is the Alexa rank? How does it work? Can you trust it? What are the pros and cons?
Name : Alexa
Site : www.alexa.com
Created in : 1996
Owned by : Amazon
The Team : Andrew Ramm, Dave Sherfesee…
Type : intuitive analytics tools
Price : FREE to try, $9,99 Basic, $49 Insight, $149 Advanced
Rate : 50/100 My advice : rely on your keywords and SEO. Take your alexa rank with a grain of salt
What is Alexa?
Founded in 1996 and acquired in 1999 by Amazon, Alexa provides analytical insights to benchmark, compare and optimize businesses on the web.
It will give you the current (more or less) ranking data for a website and it also offers various services, such as SEO audit, keyword research and competitive intelligence. Get more info here
How Does The Alexa Rank Work?
According to them Alexa’s traffic estimates are based on data from their global traffic panel, which is a sample of millions of Internet users using one of over 25,000 different browser extensions. In addition, they gather much of their traffic data from direct sources in the form of sites that have chosen to install the Alexa script on their site and certify their metrics.
Their global traffic rank is a measure of how a website is doing relative to all other sites on the web over the past 3 months. The rank is calculated using a proprietary methodology that combines a site’s estimated average of daily unique visitors and its estimated number of pageviews over the past 3 months. They provide a similar country-specific ranking, which is a measurement of how a website ranks in a particular country relative to other sites over the past month.
Here are Alexa results for Google.com (site rank, audience, bounce rate, unique visits, search traffic, linking…)
Where Does Alexa Get Their Data From?
Alexa gets their rankings from the Alexa Toolbar I mentioned above, which people install into their browsers. What it does is it basically tracks their activity around the web (the websites they visit, and how often they visit them etc...)
You have to understand that this data only represents a small fraction of all the people who use the internet each and every day. There are over 2 billion people searching the web each day but not every single one of them uses the alexa toolbar… Plus I’m sure many of the alexa toolbar are marketers whose purpose is only to track their alexa rank…
Along with that, they claim to get data from “other” unknown sources as well… which is really convenient but doesn’t really help us here!
What are the World’s Top Ranked Websites ?
View The Top 500 sites here
What is YOUR Rank on Alexa?
Do you have any idea how many websites there are out there? Millions and millions… the number actually reached a billion in 2014 (see below chart). However there are approximately 171 million distinct active sites (Netcraft Web Server Survey) and I believe Alexa rank is based on the number of active websites.
If you would like to know how well your website is ranked compared to these millions and millions of websites, you can check out your alexa rank. Simply enter your website url in the search bar at the top of their website and see the results.
Scrolling down the results page reveals various metrics, such as Bounce Rate, Daily Pageviews per Visitor, Daily Time on Site and the Percentage of visits from Search, as well as various Demographics, a list of sites that link and even page speed/load times.
Note : If your website is brand new they might not have enough information to rank it.
Should You Worry About Your Alexa Rank?
For most site owners, knowing how their little baby website is doing is of course very important…
Now I can not stress enough that the Alexa Rank is a rough measure of a website’s popularity, compared with all of the other sites on the internet. The Alexa rank takes into account both the number of visitors and the number of pages viewed on each visit.
But…. to rank a website they use data collected only from users who have the alexa toolbar installed… do I make a point here? These people may not be a representative sample of all those who search the internet every day.
From what I’ve read and heard, traffic rankings of more than 100,000 should not be considered reliable, but used as a rough guide only.
Is Alexa Rank Just Useless Then?
It’s not useless but in my opinion it is not accurate nor efficient enough to track your traffic. At least you should use it as an indicator of your SEO health. What I like about Alexa rank is that it motivates me each time I see my rankings go up (or even down). It just keeps me on track knowing that my little baby website is climbing up the ladder =)
So as a conclusion, when checking out your alexa rank (or that of other websites) do keep in mind that :
- The figures collected are only collected from a very specific subset of Internet users (those who are using the alexa bar and I forgot to say that the alexa doesn’t even work on all navigators lol)
- They are mainly based in the English speaking world
- What matters is how well you are ranked on google, how efficient you are at using high traffic and low competition keywords…
Take your ranking with a grain of salt =)
How Important is Alexa Ranking?
I like this website > Semrush – Competitive Data
for Digital Marketing Professionals
That’s it folks! I hope you now have a better understanding of what the alexa rank is. If you have any questions or would like to share your own take on Alexa, please feel free to leave a comment below ; I will be more than happy to connect !