Alexa rank. We all know it’s totally unreliable as an accurate ranking for websites, but for some reason, we still keep checking it. Well, at least I do.
Today, I was trying to explain to someone why Alexa rank is so unreliable. It didn’t seem like they were quite getting it, so I thought I’d try this.
I took the statcounter stats for 19 sites, and compared those numbers with the Alexa rank for each of those sites. The results were pretty much what I expected, and also what I’ve seen when comparing my own sites traffic stats with alexa ranks.
(Remember, with Alexa Rank, lower is better)
|Site||Pageloads (per month)||Unique Visits
|liberalavenger.com||56,453||27,987||701,743||News/ Politics blog|
|emezeta.com||649,052||405,382||25,312||tech blog, espanol|
|blogadorn.com||13,403,525||1,713,931||52,704||Clip Art for Myspace|
One of the best examples of skewed Alexa data, happens to be this site. It’s ranked under 10,000, while sites that get more traffic are ranked over 100,000. This is because so many more SEO folks have the Alexa toolbar tracker installed in their browsers, in the form of firefox extensions and regular toolbars. Those people visit tech/ web/ marketing related sites (like seologs.com) way more than they visit other kinds of sites.
Don’t get me wrong here. I still think Alexa is a really useful service. Especially when comparing really similar sites. It’s just good to be aware of this flaw.
If you’re wondering how I got access to the stats for these 19 sites, see this post about how to view public stats for thousands of sites. Also, if anyone else wants to share any real stats along with your Alexa rank, please do.