Alexa and Traffic Rank
There is much debate about using the traffic ranking data from Alexa. Some sites, such as the paid review sites, use it to determine the amount of traffic your site receives. Many individual webmasters don’t care much for the data as it doesn’t present an accurate picture of traffic.
I don’t put too much stock into the actual ranking on Alexa, as it may not provide a complete traffic picture. I do, however, know that many sites and individuals use it as sort of a gauge as to the amount of traffic your site gets. In this post I’ll explain what Alexa is, and provide a simple, yet controversial method of increasing your traffic rank.
Alexa is an Internet company founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. Amazon.com acquired Alexa in 1999 for $250 million in Amazon stock, and is currently a subsidiary of Amazon.com.
The company offered a toolbar that visitors can download and install for free. This toolbar is still available and is used by Alexa to record traffic to Web sites. The controversy surrounding the toolbar is the representation of the user base. If the user base is a fair statistical sample, then the results should be fairly accurate, however not much is known about the samples. This is what causes many individuals to disregard the Alexa ranking entirely.
The ranking on Alexa is based on a place-like system, where the site ranked number 1 receives the most traffic. The higher the number, the less traffic a site receives. Currently, Yahoo.com is ranked number one.
Increasing Your Alexa Rank
There are many sites that you can find that talk about increasing your site’s Alexa ranking. The easiest and most common method is to install the toolbar and visit your site regularly. You can even install the toolbar on many computers and then visit your site from each one.
Another, but more controversial, method is to install an Alexa widget on your site. Some people believe that this works because the widget makes a request to Alexa to display the information on your site. Others don’t think this works.
I have recently updated the template of Technically Easy. While previous template contained the Alexa widget, I decided not to install the widget in the new template.
When I checked the traffic before upgrading my template, my traffic rank was around 1.8 million. After installing the new template without the widget, my traffic rank climbed to over 2 million, and I had more visitors. I decided to reinstall the widget and now my traffic rank stands at 943,583, an increase of over 1 million. I think I’ll keep the widget on my site and see what happens. It doesn’t cost me anything to use it.
In case you are wondering where the widget is located, I decided to hide it. Displaying a traffic rank of 2 million just doesn’t look too good. Maybe as my ranking increases, I’ll show it on my blog.
There is a controversy on the Web regarding Alexa and their traffic ranking system. Many think it is inaccurate, however, some sites, particularly the paid-review sites use it to gauge the amount of traffic a Web site receives. If you do plan on using Alexa, you can install their free toolbar, or even their widgets to help increase your traffic ranking. There is, however, a debate on whether the widgets help increase your ranking. I’ll leave that decision up to you.
Update – January 09, 2008
My Alexa rank now stands at 380,042 with the widget still active on Technically Easy.
Update – January 27, 2008
My alexa rank has dropped below 300,000. My new rank is 284,987.