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Alexaholic - Alexa Traffic Analyzer

April 13, 2006

In a previous post, I talked about how Google PageRank and Alexa Rating might be linked somehow. With all the talk that Google PageRank doesn't really mean anything anymore (which I don't really agree with), it would make sense to look for another, perhaps more precise, top-level traffic indicator.

Enter Alexa. Alexa has been around for awhile but still seems to be something new to many Internet-users. Indeed Alexa even mentions on their site that their numbers are based on only 10% of Internet-users whom they believe have their toolbar installed. While 10% is nothing to scoff at, it is a smaller sample of overall Internet usage. However, by using the Alexa toolbar and following traffic patterns from know websites where I manage the analytic tools, I would have to say that Alexa is a pretty good initial traffic indicator of most websites.

Basically, if you have the Alexa Toolbar installed in your browser, when you go to a website it will return one number. In essence, from what I gather, this number is a literal ranking of every single site on the Internet (at least those that have been visited by a user with the toolbar installed) in sequential order. That's right, they have attempted to rank every single website using a bland of traffic analytics. To give you an idea, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN have been 1, 2, and 3 respectively for as long as I've been using the toolbar. So, the basic principal is that when you got a website, the lower the Alexa Rating number, the more traffic the site generates.

I'm pretty hooked on the "technology". I have the toolbar installed on all the browsers on all the computers I regularly use and usually the first place I look when going to a new site is to see the site's rating. The number itself is clickable, which will take you to a more indepth look at the site's past activity. The two addition stats Alexa provides is reach per million users, and page views. The reach per million users is an estimate of how many Internet users actually go to the site per million Internet users. So, if the reach per million users is 15, then 15 out of every million users on the Internet has been to the site over the specified time period.

That being said, I came across a nice site that expounds upon the Alexa analytics interface by allowing you to compare up to 5 separate sites on one graph layout. The site is Alexaholic.com. I was amazed when I compared some of the more notable names in a few different industries to see how their traffic ranked. In most cases, the sites that had more brand recognition, at least to me, actually ranked below some other sites that I thought were mainly "secondary". And what's really nice is that the site allows you to use a script to post the graph on your site. This is a great feature to show prospectful advertisers how well your site is doing compared to the competition.

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