Alexa Rank explained

Competition is deep in human nature. We go crazy comparing our fortunes, numbers of subscribers, likes, conversions, etc. But there are ratings that make no sense, and there are things really worth comparing. Alexa is among the latter if you run a website for business.

Alexa.com is a web analytics and optimization service currently owned by Amazon. Webmasters value it for effective instruments to research keywords, analyze competitors, and improve their website contents and code. Alexa Traffic Rank is a free tool available on their home page. It ranks websites by authority on the web.

The individual website ranking is assigned on the basis of its traffic performance compared with that of other websites. The comparison is made on the basis of the domain’s traffic over a three months’ period. The smaller your number on the rating, the better your performance. Sites that get really poor traffic may get 8-digit posotions and even lower. The best performing websites struggle for the first lines on the rating, the current top being represented by Google, YouTube, Facebook, Baidu, and Wikipedia.

All about figures

The analytics tools of Alexa have no access to check every specific visit on your website. Its data is collected through a network of users who have Alexa toolbar and Alexa’s partners’ tracking extensions installed in their browsers. Users allow the trackers to submit data on their web surfing upon installation. Alexa’s partner network covers a vast amount of users globally which ensures accuracy of aggregated evaluations Alexa performs.

Alexa calculates weighted indicators considering that demographic parameters of the tracking extension users vary from the overall parameters of the Internet users. Let’s say, if the share of Indian users who have one of the extensions installed were small compared to the average, even the most popular Indian sites would show poor performance according to the raw sample data, which would be misleading. That is why the statistical figures are adjusted to show the adequate representation of the global traffic, thus the sample bias effect upon the websites’ visibility is eliminated.

Then the Alexa ranking is formed on the basis of the normalized data. The algorithm considers such parameters as the Reach, i.e. how many unique visitors have been on the website throughout a specific date, - and Page Views (the average number of pages that users clicks through). The ranking is updated daily (for the top 100,000 lines; others are reviewed a bit slower).

What if my rank is inaccurately calculated?

As the sample of users Alexa counts is incomparable with the amount of people connected to the Internet, Alexa Rank is often suspected of inaccuracy, especially by the webmasters who are out of the top 100,000. More popular websites actually tend to be tracked more precisely.

To overcome this problem, Alexa introduced the Certified Alexa Ranking service. Each webmaster can install a piece of code on the website to make sure all its visitors are really counted. This special service costs $19.99 monthly or more.

Checking Alexa Rank

You can check the domain’s current position on the rank at any time typing its URL in the box on Alexa.com/siteinfo. Alexa will immediately return you the report containing your global and local Alexa traffic rank. The report also features a diagram that shows the dynamics of your rank shifts, and a heat map to describe your audience.

Below these data, you can also check behavioral parameters: bounce rate, pageviews per visitor per day, browsing time, and a list of websites that contain backlinks to yours. For Alexa’s free users, this data is normally available in part.

Check your position now, as nothing ensures your progress as strongly as awareness.