The trouble with the Alexa ranking

Internet marketers always would like to know how well there sites are doing in the search engines with regards to how good they rate and just how many visitors that the website has. There are various systems and approaches which they can use to monitor what is happening with their own site. Webmasters also want to know how well they're doing compared to their competitors. Figuring out a rivals ranking in the search engine isn't hard, however finding out a competitor’s traffic is not easy. The closest you can come might be the Alexa rating.

Alexa tries to rank most web sites in order based on how many visitors that they get. Alexa obtain this information from the websites that which visited by a few million users who have the Alexa toolbar added. Alexa ranks Google, YouTube as well as Facebook as the most trafficed websites. CNN, for example is rated 92nd and this site is rated 12,927,279th. Using the Alexa ranking internet marketers can assess their rating to that of their rivals.

The trouble with the Alexa ranking is that it is easy to control and it is probably not very precise outside of the top rated tier of web sites. Even though Alexa have a couple of million users, they're still just a minor subset of online surfers. Only those that happen to be technical very smart will have the Alexa toolbar set up, so the results will probably be influenced in the direction of those web sites which are frequented more regularly by those who are technically savvy. The Alexa rating is easy to manipulate and there are paid offerings which can be used to increase the Alexa’s rating of the site. All a webmaster has to do is install the toolbar and visit their own website several times a day and there will probably be a rise in the Alexa rating. This is artificial manipulation of the rating.

At the end of the day the Alexa rankings aren't used by any internet search engine as a ranking factor, so the ranking counts for absolutely nothing more than boasting rights, thus not too much time should be wasted on it by website owners.

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