Alexa Page Rank – Common Misconceptions

21 December 2012

You may have heard that web page ranking is quite important, but Google isn’t the only one providing page rank algorithms. Alexa is a global leader in analytics providing free global web metrics, it can tell you about the most successful websites on the web by keyword, category and country. Oh and according to their website, they rank 30 million websites worldwide and have over 6 million visitors every month. Sounds great doesn’t it? Let us go into more detail.

How Alexa Page Rank Works

Alexa Page Rank ranks sites based on tracking information from users of Alexa toolbar. This means that your website can’t be crawled unless users have installed the Alexa toolbar. The Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by Alexa Toolbar users and data collected from other, diverse sources over a rolling 3 month period. A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of Reach and Pageviews. Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are for top level domains only and does not provide separate rankings for subpages within a domain/ subdomains. It also counts the number of visitors and number of page views of all the sites for Alexa traffic rank.

Some Problems…

  • Alexa does not have much traffic and has limited reach with its toolbar
  • Alexa Page Rank is biased towards webmaster traffic
  • A small change in the No. of site visitors can represent a huge change in Alexa rating
  • A lot of the time, new webmasters are only tracking themselves visiting their own site

A lot of marketing gurus like to use Alexa Page Rank due to the fact that the website rating quickly rises whilst you are surfing your own site, making it easy to sell the results to clients.

One main problem with Alexa page rank is the blatantly confusing traffic estimator. A lower Alexa number means that you have a great level of traffic – the traffic falls logarithmically. If you ranking is in the millions, it is very possible you have next to no traffic.

Not only do you have to install the Alexa toolbar, but you have to use it too. The toolbar does nto come pre-installed on any main Internet Browser which means that a large No. of visitors are not going to have it. Ask yourself, would you want to install a toolbar that has no use for improving your browsing experience?

We can’t help but notice another big flaw with Alexa Page Rank – user location. The majority of Alexa users are non-English speaking, so depending on where you are and who your audience is, they may not even see your website leaving you without valuable data

Should you use Alexa?

You should not RELY on Alexa by any means. However, saying this, you can benefit from a rough snapshot of what’s going on with your site. Some people choose to maintain their Alexa rating and believe that its beneficial to compare various ranks which can ultimately benefit each other.

Alexa has becoming increasingly ineffective with measuring the true extent of how websites rank with one another. If Alexa wants to compete once again with services provided by Google and others, then it needs to update its technology. Due to the compulsory Alexa toolbar its possible that a well ranked site will not even appear in Alexa’s ranking algorithms.

What is your opinion on Alexa Page Rank?

If you want to discuss the applications of Alexa Page Rank and how these effect you why not get in touch today?