How Alexa Works - in a Nutshell

Just How Popular Are You?

Go to Alexa.com and find out. . .for free!

If you use the internet to market yourself or your business, you need to know about Alexa rankings. Alexa is a quick and easy way to estimate how popular your site is and how it compares to other sites.

How’s Your Competition Doing? To find out how popular a website is, go to www.alexa.com. Here, you can enter the URL of any website; or you can install the Alexa toolbar directly onto your browser.

When you install the Alexa toolbar on your browser, any website you visit displays its Alexa ranking number on the toolbar. The ranking is from the number one site (ranking 1) to as many sites as there are (hundreds of millions). The lower the Alexa ranking number, the more heavily visited the site.

When you click on this ranking number in the toolbar, you will be directed to Alexa’s website. Here, you can view even more information about the website in question -- including reviews posted by users and a detailed six-month traffic analysis for the site. 

Alexa Webmaster Tools  Alexa provides you with certified ranking information to include on your website. (I've posted one for this site below.) When you post Alexa information at your site, it gives your audience some idea of how popular your site really is. I can tell you that I get over 80,000 visitors every month, but when a third party like Alexa can estimate my popularity through its sampling technique, it can go a long way to enhance my credibility.

 

How does Alexa determine ranking? Alexa isn't entirely accurate, because it relies on statistical sampling that isn't random. Alexa achieves its ranking system by counting how many pages were visited by people who have downloaded their toolbar. And that group of people is anything but random: they tend to be webmasters, internet marketers, and other market-minded people. And technical people tend to completely turn up their noses at Alexa rankings, because installing a toolbar that "spies" on their surfing habits makes them upset, even though Alexa only collects aggregate information (nothing that should be linked back to an individual).

When you need to quickly find unbiased, third-party information about any site on the internet, try the easy-to-use tools that you’ll find at Alexa.com. While its not perfect, it’s a quick way to catch a small snapshot of internet marketing information. For example, if you're considering advertising with a site, check their ranking number to get an idea of how effective they might be at delivering high quality traffic to your website.