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How Important is Your Alexa Ranking?

Updated on December 14, 2014

What is the Alexa ranking?

Changes have been made to the Alexa Rankings over the years to bring in more accurate data. however, there are still many that feel they could be more accurate with their data.
Changes have been made to the Alexa Rankings over the years to bring in more accurate data. however, there are still many that feel they could be more accurate with their data. | Source

Do not use this process as the only measurement of a blog or website compared to other similar ones. This is only one form of putting like sites together side by side for comparisons.

What is the Alexa ranking?

Blogs on the internet are ranked against each other. This accounts for their search engine page ranking as well as other forms of listing URls or sites as a response to any reader query. Many bloggers have become familiar with the term Alexa ranking. What exactly is it and how does it affect a blogger or website owner.

Developers of the site engaged readers on several fronts. It provided exceptional in depth info for each site on the web, compared one site against another similar one as well as offering an interactive toolbar. The toolbar was downloaded and used by users to give prompts for what sites to visit next based on past sites visited (close to following a formula like cookies).

Why the importance?

Along with comparing and suggesting sites other material came from Alexa ranking. It was able to let any visitor know what the context of a site contained, the registered owner, number of pages, frequency of updated material along with how many sites had links pointing to it. There were also several other analytical results shared. Most importantly the number of visitors was shown in detail.

This was all interesting for a variety of reasons and countless users found it useful. Sites ranked from one to infinity in theory since every website or blog was a part of the inventory.

Why care?

Even site owners saw a benefit to looking at their Alexa rank. Every site on the web was supposedly listed which meant the number assigned to a specific URL let owners know how good or bad they were against all others. Additionally, it showed ways to increase things like page views through updates and links.

Being number one or close to it in a given niche or overall meant something was going right. Being ranked extremely low meant the opposite and changes were necessary.

What info is analyzed by the site?

The Alexa ranking factors in several important factors to determine where your blog is compared to other blogs. Such as;

a) Sites linking into a site or blog

This is definitely a great question. It certainly accounts for search engine rankings and other factors which effect traffic flow and focused readers. Although lots of owners have an analytical resource to use, some enjoyed this secondary flow of useful results which seemed “cleaner”.

b) Search inquiries produced by site contents

This is generally what info a reader entered into a search engine to get a site in results. More importantly what words entered and this particular site chosen is wonderful. Help with keywords and phrases are an excellent outcome.

c) How much traffic is received

The amount of traffic is relative to the amount of visitors/readers or for most writers’ passive income. Increasing this number is a factor in focusing on getting better income.

d) How fast a site is loading

Most owners misunderstand this analytical tool. More readers leave a site of interest when the loading time is delayed. How fast or slow they see what is offered is a critical factor. Making changes to decrease loading time means more money in the bank.

Where does the info come from?

Alexa gathers their data or tracking information from toolbars that are used to search the web. These include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and the Alexa toolbar. Only users that operate these toolbars are included in Alexa rankings.

Because it manipulates data from the usage of readers using only certain toolbars and not any from other alternate ones, lots of owners have questioned the representation of Alexa information as accurate for ranking blogs and sites.

How important is it?

Many site owners work extremely hard to better the number this particular system assigns their URL. A better number means overall the site measures up against the competition. Not only does it make the content look better, but the owner’s pride in the work is amplified. The importance of this categorizing in the overall scheme of things is always been questioned.

Is this truly a good gage to use in order to verify how good or bad it is rivaled with others in the same niche. What is the accuracy or importance of the position Alexa places a site in. The grading system used to classify these sites is possibly deceptive.

Why some disagree with importance

Many internet users have questioned the accuracy of the Alexa ranking system and how much weight to really put on their position of a site or blog on the web. If users have decided to use other toolbars besides those ranked by Alexa, the data was not included in your ranking.

Windows Defender has even classified the Alexa sidebar as malware while it assigns it to Trojans classification. Also the positioning for blogs or sites is based on three months data which takes a long time to reflect blog or site changes or updates in content or format. Additionally, low ranks are not usually accurate because of the lack of data and the statistical laws related to the long tail distribution.

The operation used is a web crawl of archived pages. An enormous database stores this info. The database and how material is retrieved from the web has been changed more than a few times. Originally before Amazon came on board it used the simple web crawl formula. Afterwards they made significant changes

Changes made mishandled info

An alignment with Google became apparent in 2002 and DMOZ in 2003. Amazon made the decision after four years with google to replace their services with Live Search for results. This has made things change for lots of site owners. Without the connection to a specific search engine, many felt the findings where more pure. There was more of an honest order to sites. This image changed with connections to Google.

After all of these changes and more redesigns in 2006 and 2007 which reconstructed the massive search index to align with other third parties, the grading system is no long as important as it once was and not as detailed as well.

Examples of how Alexa rankings have not been accurate were presented in 2007 which included grading YouTube ahead of Google. The company recognized this misinformation and attempted to make changes improvements to the analytics in 2008.

In April 2008 numerous site owners advised there was a substantial shift in their Alexa rankings. This was confirmed and they were told another adjustment was made to critical information to include additional data from more sources to make the results better represent more users of the web regardless of what toolbars were being used to browse internet information.

Even more changes

In 2009 the Alexa Web site was reassembled once again with a new design to include additional metrics such as page views per user, bounce rate and most importantly user time spent on each site. Following the first initial changes they added more metrics over the next couple of weeks. Some of these encompassed search engine stats, clickstream and demographics of users. All of these additional metrics were shared in order to compete with similar services emerging around the web. These included and Quantcast.

Countless were made for the better, but scores of folks do not agree this has occurred. Although these changes were made, a lot of people still question the accuracy of Alexa ranking and where your blog lies in the internet rankings.

In conclusion

Is there a lot of stock in an Alexa ranking? Is this cataloging fairly accurate in its comparison? It is a sorting to be used as one kind of measurement of a site or blog against others on the internet. Though, don’t use this company’s info as the only gauge of how well a site or blog is rivaled to others.

Alexa was created as a toolbar that gathered data in order to provide suggestions to internet users on where to go next based on material gathered about all of the sites on the web. Alexa provided context for each site visited, who it was registered to, how many pages the site had, how many other sites pointed to it and how frequently it was updated.

Have you head of the Alexa Rankings?

See results

Owners or founders of the site are Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. They developed the company in 1996 and sold to Amazon in 1999. The name comes from the Library of Alexandria. The deal was for $250 million in Amazon stock. Not a bad deal.

© 2011 smcopywrite


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    • profile image

      Sir John 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing valuable knowledge about alexa ranking factor in seo

    • profile image

      TheTopTier 6 years ago

      It's always good to get both side of the story. I have spent the last few hour reading about how important Alexia is and now have come across this article which bring up many good points. I suppoe that when valuating a website, the Alexia number comes up as part of the equity equation.

      Great article and if you get a moment, please visit my site at

    • profile image

      John Davis 6 years ago

      I am impressed with this article, so informative to learn a lot and share with my close friends and colleagues

    • arunii profile image

      arunii 6 years ago from Delhi

      I use alexa as it provides approximate idea of how popular is the site.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I've heard of this before but haven't looked into the topic much. Thanks for the information! This is a great resource for all bloggers.

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 6 years ago

      I had Alexa on my tool bar over time it slowed my browser way down. I don't think Alexa is accurate either. Great info.and hub. Vote up!


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