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Alexa Ranking Unplugged – Advantages, Disadvantages, & Tips

"How does the Alexa Ranking System work? What are the advantages of Alexa and what are the disadvantages of Alexa? How can the Alexa Ranking of your website be improved? "

Alexa Ranking System

Today alot of business have taken up online marketing, with an aim to improve their conversion rate. And that's why there is so much importance given to search engines. Many look at Google to get their business to success and many also look at the Alexa Ranking System.

Alexa has been in business since 1996 as an ISP – Internet Service Provider. Later they came up with a term called the Alexa Ranking System. The Alexa Ranking System is been used by millions of webmasters to find out the rank of their website when compared to all the other websites over the Internet. This ranking system gives them a check on the number of visitors who came to their website which is been recorded by Alexa.com.

The algorithm on which it works is it records the amount of traffic from users. The users have to install the Alexa Toolbar, and this information is captured over a period of 3 months. There are 2 parameters that are taken into consideration that is "Page View" and "Reach" to measure the traffic. A page view refers to the number of times a webpage is viewed by an Alexa user. Reach refers to the number of Alexa users that visit a particular website in a day.

The first step involved in the ranking process is to calculate the number of page views and reach of all the websites that are available over the World Wide Web on a daily basis. The second step involves calculating the rank which is a geometric mean of page views and reach, which is averaged over a period of 3 months.

All one needs to do is to go to www.alexa.com and download the Alexa Toolbar. The toolbar will display the rank of the website that you visit. It also shows the websites that have been surfed by web surfers that are linked to the website that you have visited. The Alexa Toolbar now sends all this browsing data to its central server and also the IP address is recorded. Now all the users that have installed the Alexa Toolbar, their data is collected and sent to the server on a daily basis.

Hence, the more number of visitors a website has the Alexa Rank would be good, meaning it would be towards one. The lesser the number, the better is your Alexa Rank.


Advantages of Alexa Ranking

  1. It can be used as a competitive intelligence tool
  2. Advertisers and webmasters can see the marketing potential of your website, because better the Alexa Rank, the higher will they be willing to pay for placing their advertisements on your website
  3. Various pages within a domain and also sub-domains are ranked the same

Disadvantages of Alexa Ranking

  1. It depends on the Alexa Toolbar
  2. All the users of the World Wide Web might not have installed the Alexa Toolbar
  3. As the sample size is small [depending on who all has installed the Alexa Toolbar], there could be a lot of sites who get a lot of traffic  but are still not ranked
  4. Various pages within a domain and also sub-domains are not ranked separately
  5. The Alexa Toolbar can only be installed over Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox
  6. While ranking a website SEO factors like backlinks is not taken into consideration
  7. The Alexa Ranking System can be gamed

Tips to improve your Alexa Ranking

  1. Install the Alexa Toolbar on your browser
  2. Encourage your visitors, colleagues and clients to install the toolbar and also rate your Alexa website profile
  3. Make use of Alexa redirects to your website
  4. Make use of Alexa auto-surfs
  5. Install the Alexa code on your website
  6. Write articles on Alexa and put them on your website
  7. Ensure that your website is listed on all the search engines


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