If you own a blog or website. Then you know how important getting targeted traffic to your website is. And when it comes to measuring traffic on the Internet. Most web masters agree that Alexa is the king. Or do they? I have always had a fairly casual approach to using Alexa.
When I first used their service. All I did was the barest minimum required. Which was to download the Alexa toolbar. In Internet Explorer. It was my understanding that this was all I had to do. To get more traffic to my blog. But of course. It did not take me too long to figure out that I was wrong.
My mistake was not fully understanding how Alexa rank worked. And how it differed from my Google page rank.
Here is how Alexa describes their service
The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach). As a first step, Alexa computes the reach and number of page views for all sites on the Web on a daily basis. The main Alexa traffic rank is based on the geometric mean of these two quantities averaged over time (so that the rank of a site reflects both the number of users who visit that site as well as the number of pages on the site viewed by those users).
The three-month change is determined by comparing the site’s current rank with its rank from three months ago. For example, on July 1, the three-month change would show the difference between the rank based on traffic during the first quarter of the year and the rank based on traffic during the second quarter.
Google page rank on the other hand is. Mainly to do with writing good original content.Getting one way links. And building trust and authority over a period of years. ( Most webmasters myself included. Find this a far easier task)
To get the most accurate and revealing traffic stats from Alexa. Your website has to be in their top 100,000. If your site falls outside of this. Then there is probably more than a 50% chance that your Alexa ranking is. Lets just say slightly dubious
By the way. At the time of me publishing this article my ranking is.
How Alexa Has Changed
As I mentioned before. 2 Years ago. I had very little knowledge of how Alexa rank worked. And like most webmasters. I paid far to much attention to my Google Page Rank. But all of that changed a few months ago. When I decided to ditch Internet Explorer. And use Chrome as my main browser.
This small but significant change. Meant that I had to visit the Alexa website to see if their toolbar would work with Google Chrome. No worries there of course they had a Chrome extension to suit my needs. And it was then that I noticed there was something different about their website.
Originally the concept for Alexa was to rank the websites who downloaded their toolbar. And in so doing. They hoped to create a community of high quality websites worthy of a high ranking.Unfortunately, the concept was abused by site owners and companies that downloaded the toolbar solely for the purpose of hitting their own website frequently enough to get higher website traffic stats
This is the reason why ( In my opinion) That they made the changes. And are now offering a pro service. But there is one thing that you have to do first. Before you can take advantage of this. You have to claim your website
From what I can remember. There are 3 ways of doing this. But in the end. I chose to upload a file to my web hosting provider, Once I had done this and it was confirmed. I gained access to. Alexa Pro.
My first reaction was not to upgrade. Instead I decided to wait and see if claiming my website had made any difference to the statistics. That Alexa already have about my site.
I think that I can safely say that. Claiming my site has not made any difference to my traffic stats at all. After a month or so I upgraded to pro option number 1. Which is the basic, and has a monthly subscription fee of just under 10 dollars a month.
It’s still early days but. I think that I will be staying at this level for quite a while. Especially when you consider that pro option 2 (the advanced level) costs a whooping 149 dollars a month. At the time of me writing this post.
The cynical side of me makes me believe that you would probably see a very sharp rise in your Alexa traffic rank. If you are willing to pay that price.
Otherwise it would not make good business sense for Alexa to charge their customers.
What do you think? Please tell me by leaving a comment below.