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Comments on Alexa traffic rank, toolbar, spybar, big brother.

Alexa.com traffic tracking. The ultimate tool to gauge how many visitors a website have.
written by: Jon Berg. <jon.berg |a| turtlemeat.com>

How it works:

Alexa tracks what websurfers are browsing by letting them install a toolbar into their browser. When a surfer clicks a link or enter an URL in the browser the address is sent to a server at Alexa. This data is then every other day compiled into a list of all webpages with information of the surfer patterns for a particular webpage.

Information you get from Alexa:

Alexa gives the average number of pages a visitor browses through when he is visiting. The number of surfers out of a million that is likely to visit the site. A ranking of sites based on popularity, and the sites that are among the top 100 000 are given a graph to see how the popularity has developed in the past.

<!--- start critique---> :)

How many visitors do a given traffic rank equal?

This graph is courtesy of SillyJokes.co.uk .

The above graph shows how many visitors a given Alexa traffic rank is worth. If you want to be in the top 100 000 you must on average have 1100 visitors a day.

Increase your traffic rank on your site:

If it really annoys you that your site is not in the top 100 000 do not fear. Here is how to increase your traffic rank. Install the Alexa toolbar, browse a couple of pages on your site every day. If you have access to several computers, for example one at work and one at home do this on all computers. And see your traffic graph spike up...

The whole Alexa concept sucks

Not all browsers have installed the toolbar. To get an accurate picture of where all people on the Internet is surfing you would ideally have to log all visits to all URLs. This is obviously not easy. The Alexa toolbar is only installed on a small amount of web browsers. Alexa assumes that this small amount of surfers are representative for all Internet surfers. This is not true in many cases. The graph above shows this spread in the amount of surfers for a given traffic rank. The traffic rank is highly inaccurate. Some argue that the higher traffic rank a site got the more accurate it is, there may be some truth to that. Nobody is going to argue that Google is not one of the top 5 websites in the world. But up to a traffic rank 40-50 thousands it is highly inaccurate and possible to fake with the method described above. I know for a fact that two websites one with over 200 000 visitors a month and one website with around 10 000 visitors a month both hover around Alexa traffic rank 400 000.

It biased, as people who use the Alexa toolbar are more likely to be webmasters or technically oriented people. The bias goes towards as to which sites this group of people are likely to surf.

The fact that all the webpages you browse is sent to Alexa should get your big brother is watching you fear started. Alexa claim it is anonymous. Other toolbars are also a threat to your privacy, among Google's toolbar that shows pagerank for the page you are visiting.

What is the point with Alexa when you probably can make a guess that is equally accurate. Alexa got other functionality like showing related links to a site. Could be useful, but all in all say no to Alexa. All this stuff in the end comes down to it is just a lot of smoke and mirrors, a big promotion scheme. The service Alexa provides is not so great. Alexa is an Amazon company, in the end they hope you will buy some stuff from Amazon.


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