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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard ChrisRoss's Avatar
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    alexa.com - Good? Bad?

    Lately I have been using this site to determine if a site is worth spending money on for advertising. It tells how popular a site is by a bunch of criteria. I would be curious to know how many other people use this site and if this is a good indication? I know its not the best but I use it like a tool in determining what I should do.

    This is how I use it:
    (example)
    I find a site I want to advertise in their newsletter, well they say they have a circulation of about 250,000. I look on alexa.com and it tells me they are listed as 1,900,000. This will tell me they are full of it? Is this a good idea?

    http://www.alexa.com/
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    This question has been asked and answered a few times already here in the forums. You should probably do a search before posting next time.

    Alexa is a great tool providing a broad Traffic Measurement research base to help you make decisions for you online business about the market, competitors or partners for FREE.

    Yes, as has been discussed to death here at Sitepoint there are various limitations to the Alexa analysis and possible statistical errors based on the sample group. But that is inherant to varying levels with any research that you undertake. However, considering Alexa's price it is a fantastic service.

    If you want a more valid Traffic Measurement research stats go to:

    http://www.hitwise.com
    http://www.redsheriff.com

    These firms analsye the traffic logs at ISP's. Though you should note Hitwise and Red Sheriff may cost around $20,000 to $50,000 a year.

    I suggest you do a search here in the forums as Sitepoint Staff have seen the stats from Hitwise against alexa and they feel that the results at Alexa are very much similar to the high priced traffic log analysis.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard ChrisRoss's Avatar
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    Sorry!

    Thank you for the information.

    For the record I did a search on "alexa.com" and it didn't find anything. Then after you told me that it has been talked about before I did a search on just "alexa" and found more threads.
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  4. #4
    HI silver trophy Silverado4x4's Avatar
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    I personally have never used Alexa, nor like it.

    The reason is, when talking to people, they don't believe you have high traffic levels, even if you do, just because Alexa has given you a poor ranking.

    From what I understand, it ranks you on many things, such as inbound links. What if you don't have many inbound links, but have a large newsletter which generates most of your traffic?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru
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    Alexa does not base its traffic ratings on links.
    Its based entirely on the percentage of users with the alexa toolbar installed who visit your site.
    Its a weighted three month or so average too which meausres daily unique visitors.

  6. #6
    HI silver trophy Silverado4x4's Avatar
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    Maybe that's one of the problems people are having.

    Most people who visit general audience sites (entertainment, humor, etc) probably won't have it installed, nor even heard of it. That's why general sites have poorer ratings than sites like SitePoint have (I'm assuming this), because SitePoint's visitors are much more tech-savvy and have heard of such things.

  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    which is why the results can be skewed.
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  8. #8
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    Can anyone post any info on wat sort of traffic is getting what sort of ranking?
    From what I can see, a site with around 300,000 unique visitors a day is getting ranked around 10,000....on the other hand, a site with around 5,000 unique visitors a day, is ranked around 80,000.
    Can anyone fill the gaps in between these rankings with any info?

  9. #9
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    Well, phpBBHacks.com gets like 300,000 pageviews a month, guessing like 30,000-35,000 uniques (I could look if you want ).

    Our ranking at Alexa is: 172,679.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru
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    The alexa ratings are based on cumulative daily unique visitors over a three month period of time.
    Few sites sustain 300,000 visitors a day for extended periods of times. Those I have seen rank between 1,000 and 10,000 or less on alexa's scale.
    Everyone might also find it interesting that alexa has finally released a list of the top 500 sites ranked by them at http://www.alexa.com/data/ds/top_500...tNew_W_t_40_M1

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru
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    Alexa is skewed towards Korean, Japanese, and Chinese visitors as you can clearly see from their list of 500 top sites. They admit this in one of their faq's about their ranking system or they used to.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict
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    Shouldn't they be able to either remove the bias or segment by country based on the IP address? Perhaps it would take more computing power, but they could probably log this somehow to make the results more balanced.

    I'm ranked 25,755 averaging about 102,157 monthly uniques (according to Webalizer) over the past 3 months. Daily uniques about 6,017 per day over the past 3 months (the off-season for hockey).

    Ralph

  13. #13
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Re: alexa.com - Good? Bad?

    Originally posted by iwinweekly.com
    I find a site I want to advertise in their newsletter, well they say they have a circulation of about 250,000. I look on alexa.com and it tells me they are listed as 1,900,000. This will tell me they are full of it? Is this a good idea?
    Actually all it tells you is that Alexa users don't visit the site in question. Alexa users tend to be either technical or trendy. It doesn't collect any information outside its own toolbar and that causes a very closed audience.

    Personally, I use the Google toolbar over Alexa's. Google has a much wider audience and shows a site's pagerank in the toolbar. It not only collects information about the usage of the site from people who have the toolbar installed but from onsite searches as well. This gives more accurate results, especially since Google feeds quite a few search destinations.
    Wayne Luke
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  14. #14
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by subslavebrandon
    Can anyone post any info on wat sort of traffic is getting what sort of ranking?
    From what I can see, a site with around 300,000 unique visitors a day is getting ranked around 10,000....on the other hand, a site with around 5,000 unique visitors a day, is ranked around 80,000.
    Can anyone fill the gaps in between these rankings with any info?
    This is why it is Skewed. We don't get near 300,000 uniques a day here in the forums, however last time I checked (two minutes ago) the Alexa ranking was 5,978.
    Wayne Luke
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru
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    W.Luke obviously all webmaster related sites will have highly skewed traffic as primarily only webmasters install alexa to begin with so they can monitor their traffic rankings.
    But within the same industries and content types Alexa provides fairly accurate traffic estimates between sites I have found. The absolute numbers are not as important as your ability to compare similar sites in similar topic areas and their relative traffic to a given site.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict
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    Alexa is powered by Google, right?

  17. #17
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    The results are pretty skewed.

    It only counts people using the google toolbar I think.

    You'll see there is a massive korean favour in the results too which is wierd.
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  18. #18
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Prince
    Alexa is powered by Google, right?
    The search on their website is, their webranking systems are not.
    Wayne Luke
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