Alexa Tries To Prove They Are Not Worthless

In Alexa’s latest blog entries, they try to prove their ranking is worth more than a clothing store at a nudist camp by comparing their traffic trends to Sitemeter stats.

techcrunch_trends.jpg

The above is the Sitemeter stats of Tech Crunch. Unlike other sites, TechCrunch makes their Sitemeter stats freely available for anyone to look at. The blue line is the Alexa traffic trend for the same period. Looks a like good match, doesn’t it?

My problem with Alexa isn’t with its traffic trend. My problem is with its ranking. For example, my blog has an Alexa ranking of 3,561, which happens to be better than the Alexa ranking for The TechZone (15,085). Based on those numbers, people looking at the two rankings would conclude that John Chow dot Com is bigger than The TechZone. I can assure you it’s not.

Advertising network like Text Link Ads and ReviewMe don’t look at Alexa traffic trends when setting their prices – they based it on the Alexa ranking. The Alexa ranking is all but worthless when trying to figure out a site’s traffic level.

Markus at Plenty Of Fish also took a jab at Alexa in his latest blog entry. He noted that Tech Crunch gets around 85,000 page views per day according to the Sitemeter stats. His dating site, Plenty Of Fish gets over 24 million page views per day. Markus’s one day Google Analytics is below.

POF one day traffic

On any given day, Plenty Of Fish has 260 times more page views than TechCrunch. Yet, when you look at the Alexa ranking for the two sites, you’ll see Plenty Of Fish at 643 and TechCrunch at 531.

I guess I shouldn’t really complain. After all, this blog’s super high Alexa ranking has enable it to charge $200 a month for a simple text link. 🙂


17 thoughts on “Alexa Tries To Prove They Are Not Worthless”

  1. Steve says:

    People are often quick to dismiss Alexa because it’s not accurate, but as long as advertisers use it as a metric to price ads, it’s clearly not worthless.

  2. Richard says:

    Alexa data can tell you how your site ranks with the web savy people who like to install toolbars into their browser. There are also many web savy people who don’t use it. But overall it’s a good metric for measuring only the web savy.

  3. Brendan says:

    There should be something built into the browser from download to track sites. But I’m sure a bunch of people would worry about privacy concerns. And actually getting the browsers to put it in would be difficult. It would be much more accurate than alexa.

    On another note maybe its time for alexa to update the way they actually rank pages.

  4. Ajay says:

    I agree with Steve above. No matter how much we try to dismiss Alexa Rankings, they are here to stay.

    Advertisers still consider Alexa rank to be extremely important and that is a great deal of worth.

    Like you said, the rank gives you the $200.

  5. Allen.H says:

    I have tried to contact Patrick Gavin directly to receive an explanation on why is TLA using one of the most flawed tracking services ever with publisher payments, i asked his reps to forward my messages to him, but i got a reply from neither.

    Alexa ranks one of my medium 1 year old blogs 700,000, a blog that receives 200 uniques and 375 pageviews on average. Two months ago, when it was receiving merely 100 unqiue’s a day it was ranking 370,000. TLA is paying me $18/link for a PR5 high-niche blog.

    Influential (spl?) publishers should unite together to sign some kind if petetition calling TLA to stop using Alexa to determine set their pricing and rating!

    Allen.H

  6. Nomar says:

    indeed.. you shouldnt complain at all 😀

  7. Pedro Pais says:

    Fish. That’s what it looks like.

    Look carefully, Plenty Of Fish page views graph *really* looks like a fish (cut in half). Isn’t life curious?

    JOHN: Why don’t you add something so I can subscribe to a post’s comments by e-mail?

  8. TJP says:

    Isn’t the Alexa ranking based on users who browse with the Alexa toolbar?

  9. John Chow says:

    Pedro Pais – I’ll try to find a plugin that allows you to sub to comments.

    TJP – Yes, Alexa rankings are based on users who run the Alexa toolbar.

  10. Pedro Pais says:

    John, I use Subscribe to Comments 2.0. So far everything seems to work okay.
    If you need any help, please tell me.

  11. David Mackey says:

    Interesting. A solution would be for IE and Firefox to begin tracking web user’s traffic pattern, but people would seriously object to this. Perhaps there is no objective way to gather web statistics?

  12. Doug Karr says:

    I just want to know the secret of how your traffic skyrocketed in mid-September:

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=www.johnchow.com

    Doug

  13. Bodhi says:

    I would like to know the secret too 😉

Comments are closed.