Think Beyond How To Get A Better Alexa Rank
Before I start with the article, as opposed to the popular notion you may have in your mind after reading the title that this post pertains to either how to get a higher Alexa rank or how worthless the alexa ranking metric is, since it is flawed; let me assure you, it is not!
People have already made thousands of misleading pieces of information related to alexa that range from linking it to various other third party applications like adsense to having a higher ranking in SERPs and frankly I would not care to correct their misconceptions because their knowledge stems from another misleading post (just like theirs) which they read on their favorite blog.
So here I am introducing to the real facts about Alexa that will let you see for yourself how much importance it deserves, or whether it deserves it at all or not!
1. For the skeptics and others who feel Alexa is a new kid in town, Alexa began in 1996 April, just one month after Google was founded. That does not make it a new player in web analytics and online solutions does it?
2. One of the first versions of third party web crawlers was designed by alexa
3. A list of sites sorted by geography, niche and other strategic metrics can be downloaded officially from the Amazon website which officially hosts alexa.
Authenticity of Data from Alexa
As opposed to the popular belief that alexa counts only the number of hits from the alexa toolbar it also collects detailed statistical data which includes, but not limited to IP address , browser version and cookies, click stream and referrals including time on site and clickthroughs which is a big deal considering that it can fetch all this information without the user having to install an asynchronous script within the HTML of the site like Google analytics.
It fetches its major chunk of statistical data from third party analytics company by tagging all users with a universal cookie called the identifier which tracks user behavior on the site and tracks future activities of the person. This also works for contextual browsing data to be able to rank sites based on relevancy to niche and segregating it from ‘random traffic’.
It also has a feature to allow tracking of statistical data from social bookmarking sites and third party apps to track user behavior and aggregate the true reach of your site as a whole and help you optimize your efforts and expenses accordingly.
Time for some tough love
Let’s see the hard facts about alexa
1. The data it fetches from all its sources has a major influence by its toolbar statistics. But as opposed to the popular belief that it is the only data it considers (this would not have been a myth if you were in 2008 ), it actually fetches data from various sources and there is also buzz of data sharing with Yahoo API .
2. Alexa changed its algorithm in 2008 with a drastic impact on many sites but it also meant more accurate data since it reduced its dependence on the toolbar data
3. Most of the well known anti-virus softwares today, including Windows firewall have tagged the alexa toolbar as spyware, adware and malware respectively since it does not follow the ethical practice for third party tracking and cookie settings. Technically they are right since the permanent cookies the toolbar sets is a kind of intrusion of privacy even if they claim that it is not used for malicious activities.
Even after knowing the pros and cons of alexa there will always be people who will like ot blow smoke from myths and pass on the same misleading information to a generation of new webmasters so I would like to conclude the article with these myth busters:
1. Alexa And Google SERPs Is Not Related
Lately many novice bloggers have been cooking up stories that claim that a better alexa rank will translate into a better SERP but that is completely irrelevant and baseless. The converse might be true in some cases only because of an indirect relation because a higher SERP may lead to higher traffic and higher traffic would lead to a better Alexa rank but not vice versa.
2. Alexa and PageRank Are Not Related
Pagerank is Google’s way of rating websites just like Alexa has its own parameters to rate websites based on various factors like traffic . The PR algorithm rates websites based on its own complex set of metrics which include a lot of other things but let me assure you that Alexa is not one of them!
3. Alexa is most widely used Metric
Alexa is the most widely used metric to assess a website for advertisements and collaborations and undoubtedly the most widely used metric by bloggers for analysis and statistics purposes.
I hope that after having shed some much needed light on a well known analytics company whose name was derived as a tribute to the library of Alexandria – which symbolizes a storehouse of knowledge, people start referring to it with a little more respect than ‘Alexa is crap’ and for the others that have hyped the capabilities with the myths that we busted above hope the article serves as an eye-opener.
Trending topics have always been a favorite topic of discussion for bloggers , not to mention , they are also the most twisted and misquoted topics in the webmaster world . Here we are busting those myths and sharing clean and researched information with people.
If you have any thoughts about Alexa as a company or your alexa ranking , please drop in your thoughts in the comments section below, I would be happy to address all your concerns.