Alexa Rank is a public metric that shows a domain position in a global list of all registered active domains. Small sites subdomains are not considered separately, one sees the proper domain’s rank when checking. To not be confused with PR, which is a different sort of ranking (considered very important by marketeers).
Alexa is an Amazon property, and it represents a business itself. They have a toolbar and some addons showing the rank. As far as I have noticed, the rank is based on traffic to that certain domain.
There are methods to approximate the traffic to a certain domain or subdomain, there are plugins or pieces of code, like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, or others like them, free or premium.
Alexa Rank shows a domain’s position among the other important domains across the web. I have noticed a few exceptions, based, I am sure, on conventions between Alexa company and certain free subdomains providers, like wordpress.com or blogger.com. On these subdomains, the Alexa ranking is different than the main domain rank, which is normal.
Anyway, the Alexa company claims that one site’s Alexa Rank is actually one site’s authority on the web. Google.com, the main Google Corporation’s domain is Number One., its Alexa ranking is 1. Facebook.com is 2, YouTube.com is 3, Yahoo.com is 4, Baidu.com is 5 (how normal), Wikipedia.org is 6, Amazon.com is 7, Twitter.com is 8, Live.com is 12, Linkedin.com is 13, Blogspot.com (which redirects to blogger.com or the country’s TLD) is 18, Ebay.com is 19, Yandex.ru is 20, Instagram.com is 24, Bing.com is 26, Reddit.com is 27, Pinterest.com is 29, Tumblr.com is 31, WordPress.com is 33, Msn.com is 35, Imgurl.com is 37, Paypal.com is 38, Microsoft.com is 39, Apple.com is 41, Imdb.com is 44, Ask.com is 45, Craigslist.org is 61, etc…
“Every day, Alexa estimates the average daily visitors and pageviews to every site over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months is ranked Number 1. The site with the least is ranked somewhere around 30 million. – from Alexa.com Blog.”
So, it’s obvious that a small number is better than a bigger one.
They say that for a better estimate of one’s traffic, one must “certify” the site. Sites with certified metrics are measured directly by Alexa, not estimated in the bunch.
The estimation is done through a sample of a large traffic data panel consisting of millions of people all over the world. Based on the data from this sample, Alexa estimates the number of visitors to all sites on the Internet.
If one site’s rank is under 100k, the site benefits of a more detailed traffic graph not available for sites with a lower rank (a bigger than 100k number).
Wow, and now comes the big news from Alexa’s SEO specialists. To improve your Alexa Ranking (because a lot of people ask them how to do it), one needs to constantly produce and publish valuable content. They also say that PR is influencing Alexa Rank which is purely not true.
This very site has a Home Page PR 3, and is usually between 200k and 400k Alexa estimate. In the second half of December 2014, something happened with my traffic and Alexa started to freely fall to 700k. I know that I have been busy and “let it go”, but now it started to redress, and I have a feeling that in less than a month, rodolfogrimaldi.com will be again in its 300k range, even better.
Why I gave this example? Because I’ve seen “High Authority” sites, with a PR 6, like http://www.abycinc.org/ (The American Boat & Yacht Council very site), but Alexa is 3,800k, meaning that the traffic is not as good as they wish, and this is contradicting what they claim on the blog. I understood the catch, which is purely material.
Take this: Good traffic assures a better conversion, assures a better RPM, assures a better Alexa and a higher PR. If the traffic is genuine, the PR is going even higher, and if your keywords are right, it’ll become even higher. Good content will never promote itself, and be sure that Google especially is not helping at all with that, so you have to establish your own authority somehow, which will create the traffic. No matter you offer something valuable if no one knows it.
The guys ay Alexa also advise to link with authority sites, to increase your PR. It’s normal, to do this by default, especially when you understand a little what happens. Don’t be afraid of Google penalties when you don’t do anything wrong.
Another “fantastic” advice is to create PPC (pay per click) campaigns to increase your traffic, implicit to better your Alexa Rank. Nice and logical but not very good converting.
And the best advice is to let them, the guys from Alexa to “audit” your site and to tell you EXACTLY what to do, where on the page to put your keywords, which SEO “specialist” to consult, and so on.
Now, in the end, I want to remind you the prices Alexa’s specialists are charging for more accurate analytics:
It starts with a $10 monthly subscription (“basic”) with limited demographics, but shows historical trends, social metrics, engagement, linking in, and certified metrics, and “uptime monitoring” for under 10 million views (per month, of course). Not very bad.
Then, the second, (and the “best value”) option, called “insight” is at $50/month, the same as above, plus traffic sources and “downstream sites” (“where visitors go after visiting a particular site”), plus a SEO audit for under 50 million pageviews/month. This seems a little bit expensive for an ordinary site. To can accommodate such traffic, you need a very good hosting platform and management, which will increase your expenses to at least another $100/month if not more (I know that it’s more).
The third option is called “Advanced” and costs $150/month. It offers more than the above, organic and paid keyword insights, keyword research, full site & audit for sites with up to 200 millions pageviews/month.
I hope you can distinguish between me being serious or being ironic. My advice:
Don’t let yourself discouraged by a low Alexa (meaning a big number, in the millions range). Be consistent, publish often, use wisely Social Media, and be sure that your rank will not increase if you give them $150/month to measure more exactly your few thousand visitors in the same month. Haven’t you seen “no rank” to a lot of sites around, especially the free hosted blogs and the “lost” ones (without a consistent update).
About “estimating” traffic. They “estimate” the biggest percent of my traffic as coming from a wrong direction. But I am in possession of better “estimates”. Anyway, it’s a rough estimate which shows enough of what’s interesting. You know how one “worked” for his/hers traffic. Loyal visitors are better than overnight schemes applied to ephemerally increase traffic (like a Digg front page, or the same on reddit. Take care and don’t lose hope 🙂
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