What is Alexa?
In short, Alexa is a company that provides information about websites. Alexa logs data such traffic, user reach, and page views. It then ranks each website accordingly based on popularity.
Over the years Alexa has become an industry standard for many companies to determine a websites popularity. In fact, it's become so popular that it is, and has been the most trusted source for web statistics for several years.
How are Alexa's traffic rankings determined?
Alexa's traffic rankings are based on the usage patterns of 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. Reach is determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single pageview. The site with the highest combination of users and pageviews is ranked #1.
Alexa's traffic rankings are for top level domains only (e.g. domain.com). We do not provide separate rankings for subpages within a domain (e.g. www.domain.com/subpage.html) or subdomains (e.g. subdomain.domain.com) unless we are able to automatically identify them as personal home pages or blogs, like those hosted on Geocities and Tripod. If a site is identified as a personal home page or blog, its traffic ranking will have an asterisk (*) next to it: Personal Page Avg. Traffic Rank: 3,456*. Personal pages are ranked on the same scale as a regular domain, so a personal page ranked 3,456* is the 3,456th most popular page among Alexa users.
How often does Alexa update the Traffic Rank?
The overall Traffic Rank which is shown in the Toolbar, on the Overview page, and elsewhere in the service, is updated approximately every weekly. This is the main traffic rank for a site, and is based on 3 months of traffic data from Alexa Toolbar users
Why is our Alexa ranking so important?
In our specific case, our Alexa ranking determines two things; how many sponsors we have, and how much we get paid per advertisement on the website. Obviously, these are two very important things. Hence, we need to keep our Alexa ranking in excellent shape to ensure our existence as it is.
Now that I've explained what Alexa is and how it works, I'd like to share what it is that we are ultimately trying to accomplish.
As I've mentioned above, keeping our Alexa ranking in good shape is vital to our existence. Basically, if we have a horrible ranking we're going to have a failing website. The reason is because nobody will sponsor us. Since we are a tech site, we heavily rely on sponsors for products to review. Without sponsors we have nothing to review. If we have nothing to review, well, I think you guys get the picture.
So in order to stop this from happening we needed to do something and do something quick. Just about a month ago I brought up the idea of having all the active members here in the forum install the Alexa toolbar to boost our ranking.
And sure enough, it did. From the 10 or so active members using the toolbar we've managed to take our website ranking from 48,000 to 37,000 in less than a month. That's major progress considering our website is in the top ranked 100,000 websites globally.
Despite the great progress we're making, we still haven't quite reached our ideal ranking. Most tech companies won't sponsor website that has a ranking of 20,000 or above. In order for them to send us free products to review, we need to lower our ranking from anywhere to 15,000-19,000 globally.
It shouldn't be too hard to reach our quota since lately we've been getting allot of traffic. But it will take extra determination from our forum users to get our ranking to that level and most importantly, keep it there.
So if you haven't already installed the toolbar, please do so. There are two versions; one for IE and one for FF.
You can download the Alexa Toolbar here:
You can get the Firefox add-on version here:
This is the easiest way to help out your favorite tech site and it doesn't cost you a penny.
For everybody that already installed the toolbar, we thank you greatly.
I will follow up shortly with a different thread discussing different strategies we can take to reach our goal. Currently, I just want to monitor our traffic for a couple weeks to see how Alexa is reacting to our 'new' traffic.
Btw Scott, if you can sticky this it would be awesome!
Edited by AJ., 04 May 2008 - 10:09 PM.