The Alexa Rollercoaster

by A.D Paterson on 18/06/2010

When I was posting regularly to my blog (pre Christmas problems) I saw my Alexa ranking get to a fairly respectable 1,800,000 – and some small change. Then six months of no updates took their toll.

By the time I had everything up and running again my Alexa ranking was somewhere just short of 29,000,000 (or 28,856,000-ish if you want to be more accurate)and going down. It’s not exactly disastrous, considering the gap in posts, but still a bit more of a decline than I was expecting.

So what exactly is Alexa?

Alexa is a way of getting up-to-date information about your website/blog. It can tell you the number of sites linked to you, the percentage of the (global) internet users visiting your site, site reviews, contact information etc, and search traffic.

The search traffic is one of the most interesting features because you can see just what the people who reach your site are searching on to get there. With that information at your disposal you can optimize your site with those search terms in mind. But it gets better.

If you know the websites that compete with you (i.e. for a product you’re selling), and you type in the website address, you can quickly and easily get the search terms that they are getting the most traffic from. If you know that, you can try tapping into those search terms too, and any other information that might give you a competitive advantage over them.
So what is the ranking and why is it important?

Firstly the ranks are allocated for the top level domain (e.g. as opposed to a page or subdomain (e.g. They are based on Alexa Toolbar users and the way they search. The reach and page views are taken from the number of Alexa users visiting a page on a specific day. Multiple views on the same day by the same user are classed as one unique page view.

The rank itself is how well you compare with other Alexa users. This may not sound as exciting as being number 2,000,000 out for 27 gazillion webpages, but, Alexa ranking seems to have a large pull for Google, and that makes a high Alexa rank a very attractive thing. By the way, like most things relating to positioning, 1 is the best and 200,000,000 means somebody might have accidentally gone to your page twenty years ago and clicked away before the 9400 byte dial up connection even found it.

Having made a few posts my Alexa ranking now stands at 6,419,269, at the time of writing this. Is this a great thing? Maybe not at the moment, but, the more it moves up, the more likely people are to find the blog in Google, or Alexa, and I might have more than one person reading these posts… hi Mum!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

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