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How Accurate is Alexa?

AdvantagenetworkAdvantagenetwork subscriber Posts: 1
Do you find Alexa rankings useful?
I see they are part of Amazon. Is it safe to assume they are the authority or are there other such ranking sites of top quality?


  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    They`re probably about as close as you`ll get to an authority, but even saying that you have to realize that Alexa numbers are easily gamed and should not be used for anything other than a surface measure or supporting metric for more reliable analysis.Why`s that?  Because Alexa data is derived purely from users who install the Alexa toolbar and then browse the web.  Amazon`s purchase of Alexa enabled them to have a much broader reach, and thus there`s at least some measure of accuracy to the number.  But if you think about that fact that it`s all based on individual users installing the toolbar, it`s not hard to see how you could affect the numbers for some sites.  It`s sort of the same principle that`s adversely affecting systems like digg.com, where users vote to push certain stories to the top of the list (and to huge traffic spikes) - get a decent sized group together, working in concert to promote a story, and it`s possible to hit the top position.Beyond Alexa, the industry standards are services like Nielsen/Netratings, but they generally limit public reporting to the top industry players.
  • mills97mills97 subscriber Posts: 0
    Yeah... I think it`s probably skewed in favor of websites that have a high-tech slant to them... meaning, the type of person who is likely to download the Alexa toolbar is probably a techie...
    Just my two cents...
  • AdvantagenetworkAdvantagenetwork subscriber Posts: 1
    Great service Chuck.
    Thats my first post anywhere and I`m impressed with the speed and quality of your response. Are all forums this good?...Loaded question I spose.
    I`m a part owner/Executive of a small (18 staff) but growing Australian finance company, Standard Capital.
    We have recently (1 week) launched an iMall at www.advantagenetwork.com.au</A>. The initial idea was to assist our small business `partners` to sell online once we integrate a shopping cart and payment gateway. We get a commission for each sale from their website. (We have also started affiliate programs...Got ebay, Amazon, Sanity and others going up tomorrow and the weather). We thought rather than promoting their sites individually we`d consolidate into our own imall.
    Monster Commerce and CCNow seem to be good models for us. Any other ideas. We will also be introducing our own Standard Capital 3rd Party Warranty for our Partners products.
    We also offer free membership to our pureadvantage customer appreciation program where members will receive world class rewards such as cash backs and discounts when they buy online with one of our tradeadvantage partners.
    We believe we have 3 major competetive advantages:
    1. We are a Finance Company. We know small business finance issues, and provide our own unique Business Builder Marketing Loan. There is also Factoring opportunities here (we have a specialty small business factoring division).
    2. 3rd Party Product Warranty from a Financial Services Company
    3. Free membership program. Members to receive up to 8% cash rewards etc etc.
    We have dedicated significant resources to this project including a full time developer specifically for this site (day 2 today).
    I was going to rely on Alexa to track our world wide ranking. In light of your comment re Alexa ranking only with their toolbar users, this doesn`t seem a good idea. Is it useless to us?
    I`ll look at Nielson/Netrankings now, I seem to recall looking previously and I think they charge for their service?? I`ll look again now anyway.
    Any additional comments are much appreciated.
  • digitalvision313digitalvision313 subscriber Posts: 3
    My experience actually is that tech sites are hurt by Alexa - as they are I.E. only, you miss all the alternative browsers.  I`ve heard of sites like digg get half their visitors missed because so many don`t use Internet Explorer (in general, tech sites have a very high alt-browser ratio, as much as 50%).Focus on site content, usefulness, and usability, and ratings will come.
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    My pleasure, glad I could help!  If you`re talking about objectively assessing your position, Alexa is not going to be a reliable, reportable metric you should use to track your business progress.  Nielsen, Hitwise, et al. are paid services, so until you`ve firmly established your place in the upper echelons of your market, I`m guessing it`s not going to make sense for you to go that route.  And I don`t know for sure, but I`m thinking Alexa will give US-skewed results, making them even less valuable.I suppose my advice would be to avoid benchmarking your success against the traffic numbers of comparable sites for now, and try to find another measure that`s more easily and reliably gathered.  Unfortunately NetworkSolutions (parent of MonsterCommerce) is private, but I`ve got to imagine there are some comps out there you can use to measure your success against.
  • AdvantagenetworkAdvantagenetwork subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks Guys
    4.45am in Melbourne, Australia. Just watched the New Orleans Saints romp in in first game back at Superdome...Brilliant.
    You guys should watch the AFL (Aussie Rules) Grand Final on Saturday (Our Superbowl)...Sydney vs West Coast Eagles...Replay of last years final so should ne a beauty.
    How useful do you think regular Press Releases are??..PRWeb, Sanepr etc..What about their upselling (Blasting type) services??
    Should the aim be to create inbound links and if the site content is how it should be, then high search engine rankings will be a natural outcome??
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