Alexa Rank

alexa ranking

Learn about Alexa Rank

Alexa Rank is often talked about in the SEO circles but its value is widely debated. Alexa is often mentioned in the same breath as PageRank, but as the latter has obvious connections with the world’s most popular search engine, it’s often the one that’s favoured as people try to increase their site’s rankings.

Alexa, owned by internet giant Amazon, has been around for a long time ranking websites and their various features. Site members install a toolbar to their browser which sends data back to Alexa HQ about viewing habits and the types of sites visited. Alexa then notes which pages are popular, which are related and which are going through a topical surge. Based on user activity, a site gets a rank: at the moment Google, Facebook and YouTube top the leaderboard.

In return, the user is offered all this information as well as ratings of each site in the database as well as the opportunity to see past versions of the site they’re visiting as well as looking at the search terms users put in Google to find the site.

The problem with this, is that it’s not fully representative of the web’s user base – indeed, Alexa acknowledges a leaning towards Chinese sites because of the toolbar’s popularity in the Orient – with many marketing, SEO and webmaster tools getting ranked highly. With a relatively small user base it’s possible to see huge swings in ratings with only a minor change in weekly or monthly traffic. However, in these circles Alexa rank can be influential and can help you network, guest post and advertise in relevant and popular places.

Alexa Rank Tips

If you want to increase your Alexa rank, there are a few simple ways to do this.

  1. Although seen as ‘gaming’ the system, installing the toolbar and setting your own blog or site as your homepage means you’ll add a few extra visits. If you have a few employees, get them all to do the same to boost your rank slightly. This leaves the door open to full scale spamming and abuse of the system, which is one of the main points opponents attacks.
  2. Create link bait for webmasters and affiliates. These are two of the biggest groups of users, so if you target them you’re likely to increase your visits, and your ranking. If you don’t have an affiliate scheme, adding one is sure to get people visiting (and may even increase your sales) or if you have one in place give it a revamp, add a promotion or set up a competition where leading affiliates get a prize.
  3. Although the toolbar is the main way Alexa tracks data, it’s not the only way. Adding the Alexa widget to your site is another way for users to register their visit to your site. Add a link to download the Alexa toolbar near this and if people install the toolbar they’ll return to your site automatically which counts as a vote for you.

Once you have an Alexa rank to be proud of, you can start to use it to your advantage. Mention it on your advertising page and you can afford to up your fees a little bit. Use it to show others that you’re popular, successful or, if nothing else, you’ve been around a while and that you’re dependable and trustworthy. With that in your armoury you may be surprised at the doors that open for you as a webmaster. Be warned, though, that not everyone puts much faith in the system, despite its age and reputation in some quarters, and if you brag too loudly about your ranking it may put some people of you and your site permanently.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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