What’s Going on With Alexa?

So, as you might have noticed in my previous post, I realized that Alexa is shifting its rankings and blogs in the Make Money Online scene seem to be getting hurt pretty hard.

I am not sure where Alexa is getting their new statistics and information that they are using to create their rankings, but it isn’t friendly to my niche.

I took a quick look at the top five blogs from the Top 50 list of Make Money Online Blogs I compiled, and all of them show huge drops in their Alexa rankings since the start of the year.

Problogger

Darren works hard on Problogger, and I doubt over the last half a year that his blog could have dropped so far in rankings compared to other blogs. I would actually hazard a guess that his blog actually continues to grow in traffic, links, and other support, so why is his ranking dwindling away?

It is still fairly high compared to most sites, but the drop is very apparent.

Here are the other four top blogs in the top fifty list, and as you can plainly see, all of them have experienced a similar drop.

Shoemoney

Dosh Dosh

John Chow

Entrepreneurs Journey

Not all of them seem to be effected in exactly the same way, but all of them have experienced a large drop. Some blogs have dropped faster, and harder than others, and I can’t really see any rhyme or reason for the drop. If they were all exactly the same, at the same time, then I could understand that it was just an overall shift in how Alexa compiles their rankings, but I have to conclude that their data sources are effecting their calculations in what almost appears to me an unfair way.

This blog is not safe from the drop either, as my Alexa rank has been sinking as well, despite my best efforts to find ways to attract unique visitors, and even more so, visitors that would be using the Alexa Toolbar, in hopes if it boosting my rank.

Why Does This Matter?

This wouldn’t normally be a concern for most bloggers, and I can see some people reading this post and putting on their hater pants. “Alexa is irrelevant, every idiot knows that,” they might say, but the fact of the matter is that certain sites use Alexa ranking to determine position, including PerformancingAds, where sites are listed in order of best to worst Alexa rank, and I have no doubt that those with higher visible rankings will secure more advertising than those that are lower down the page.

It is also taken into consideration when compiling things like my top 50 list of make money online blogs, as I compile the list from the 45n5.com/top100 list, which places sites based on Google PageRank, Technorati Ranking and Alexa Ranking.

9 thoughts on “What’s Going on With Alexa?

  1. David Peralty Post author

    Yes, I remember the announcement, and I remember the change in data sources and whatnot, but I disagree that they are more accurate. I would love to know what basic stats go into creating their ranking. Is it just traffic? If so, their system is still highly flawed.

  2. Kevin

    I agree, I don’t think it’s accurate however it is better than what it used to be. I used to have a site which had 4 times the traffic as my blog yet it was hundreds od thousands less on alexa.

    I’m a bit confused by your post then if you knew about the announcement. Alexa’s system before was notorius for giving higher scores to web development type sites and when they changed their algorithm for working out the alexa score of a site web development sites were hurt the most because they were originally overinflated.

  3. David Peralty Post author

    I am saying that the rankings can’t entirely be based on traffic. I am also saying that each of these blogs have been effected negatively, but not at the same scale or speed. I am saying that Alexa is causing issues for myself and these sites when being ranked by Alexa score against others.

    A good example for me on how messed up Alexa is would be Performancing.com compared to this blog. I know for a fact that this blog has less traffic than Performancing, so why is their Alexa rank not as good as mine?

    All sites weren’t effected equally by the new data that Alexa took in and that’s what bothers me.

    I think Alexa should be more transparent when it comes to what criteria they are using to rank people, or where their data is coming from.

    Also, I guess I would ask, do you think Problogger.net’s current ranking is more in line with its overall position in the blogosphere? Do you really think it deserves to be 60,000 from the top?

    I think Alexa still has a lot of work to do on fine tuning their ranking system, or people that depend on Alexa rankings for their software, should devalue the rankings further so that other factors like back links are given more of a priority.

  4. Kevin

    I agree with you, Alexa has loads of work to do. I have always hated Alexa with a passion but compared to what it used to be like I do think that they are better.

    That being said, it’s very difficult to get any two stats scripts to work. My webalizer stats are different from my analytics stats which are different from my awstats. I’ve always been surprised how scripts which are installed on the same server can produce such contrasting results.

    With regards to the Alexa ratings going down, I can see what you’re saying. As I said, even though Alexa ratings are a little better, they’re still shouldn’t be considered more than a just a rough guide.

  5. David Peralty Post author

    Right, so the post was basically a plea for those that use Alexa as a ranking factor to remember that it is only a guide and not as bang on as it should hopefully be, especially when comparing sites from different niches. 🙂

    I have to admit though, I do see a lot less sites dominating the Alexa rankings through the simple manipulation techniques that were common a year ago.

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  7. stonemonkey45

    I’m pretty sure those sites would have had vastly inflated rankings due to webmasters being far more likely to have Alexa’s toolbar installed than normal members of the public. So while I don’t have any idea how accurate Alexa is overall, It probably gives a more accurate “rough guide” to how popular those sites are in comparison with the web in general.

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