Alexa is a subsidiary of Amazon.com that is primarily most well-known as a website ranking and analytics service. They collect data from a tool bar that users install in their internet browser to get information on each website that they visit. No numbers are available on how many users there are, but it is claimed that there has been over 10 million downloads of the tool bar from the Alexa site, though that does not mean that there are that many in use. This data is then collated by Alexa who provide a ranking of the website based on that sampling of visitor numbers. The number one ranked site has the most visitors. A site with an Alexa ranking of, for example, 12878 is the 12878th most visited site on the web. It is considered that the lower an Alexa ranking the better, as that means the website is getting more traffic from those who have the tool bar installed in their web browsers.
As at May 2013, the ranking for the top ten sites according to Alexa were:
7. Windows Live
9. Tencent QQ
Use of the Alexa Rankings:
The Alexa rankings are often used by many website owners for 'competitive intelligence', that is getting an impression of how much traffic a competitors website might be getting. The are also used by those considering purchasing a website as an indication of how much traffic the website is getting.
Criticisms of the Alexa Rankings:
Many consider the Alexa rankings to be inaccurate. They are based mostly on site visits of users with the tool bar installed (though Alexa do claim that they factor in other sources of data). These tend to be users who are more technically inclined, so there is going to be a bias toward the types of websites that those who are more technically inclined tend to visit. Also, it is possible to fake the Alexa ranking somewhat for a site, by just installing the tool bar and repeatedly visiting the site! There are even services that can be purchased that do this for you (some website sellers like to artificially inflate the Alexa ranking to get a better price for the sale of the website from those who are gullible). For this reason, in the search engine optimization industry, not a lot of importance is given to the Alexa ranking. The search engines, like Google, do not give any weight to the Alexa ranking when they rank sites in the search results.
Widget of PodiaPaedia's Alexa Ranking:
Alexa Internet Twitter Feed:
Tweets by @AlexaInternet
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