Alexa Rank: Everything You Need To Know – Hacker Noon

Having a high ranking with Google is how most people measure the success of their online marketing efforts, but Alexa rank is also equally important. Some SEO experts believe that Alexa rank is just as important as Google rank for websites looking to attract more traffic and increase conversions.

Being aware of your website’s Alexa Rank could help you optimize your website to generate more traffic and sales conversions. In this article, I have detailed everything that you need to know about the Alexa ranking system.

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What is Alexa Rank?

The Alexa ranking system was set up by Alexa.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com. A website’s Alexa rank shows how popular that website is relative to other websites.

The Alexa analytics platform audits the frequency of visits on websites and makes the results public. Alexa traffic rankings use a simple algorithm to record the amount of user traffic for those who have installed the Alexa toolbar. According to its website, Alexa has stored data on online browsing behavior for 300+ million Internet pages.

Parameters such as page views and reach are taken into account when calculating the traffic. Reach refers to the number of users who visit a certain website in one day. As the name suggests, a page view is the number of times users view a certain page. Keep in mind that one user visiting the same website multiple times in one day will be counted only once.

How it Works

Alexa uses the data provided by its toolbar users for ranking their respective websites vis a vis other websites. To get started, you simply need to download and install the Alexa toolbar. It’ll then display the Alexa Rank of the visited website. In addition, the toolbar will also send traffic data to a central server. Your IP address and the URL you’re visiting are recorded.

A greater sample source naturally gives more accurate data. However, accuracy may be dubious if you’re among the lower-ranking sites. Those among the top 100,000 ranking sites in the Alexa system can rest assured that they’re drawing in good traffic. Websites with a high Alexa rank will have more visitors and higher sales conversions.

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Can Alexa Rank Be Manipulated?

According to Search Engine Journal, it’s possible to manipulate your website’s Alexa rank. You can easily manipulate your Alexa rank by creating a JavaScript function to loop through an array of page addresses from your website. The trick is to get each address to open in a separate window. Then, have the function loop back to the beginning once it reaches the end. This is how some people manipulate their Alexa Rank without actually generating more traffic.

You can also leverage software to increase your Alexa rank. Software like rankboostup and UpMyRanksend tons of traffic to your website, thus boosting your Alexa rank.

However, the better and highly recommended way of improving Alexa rank is to write good quality content on a regular basis. Artificially boosting your Alexa rank is not beneficial for you in the long run. Attracting relevant, organic traffic to your website is more likely to result in conversions.

Does a Good Alexa Rank Matter?

Google is readily accepted as an expert ranking system. However, there are mixed feelings in the SEO world regarding the importance and relevance of Alexa Rank. Let’s a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks of the Alexa ranking system.

Pros

Here are several ways in which good Alexa rankings could help you:

  • Alexa rankings are used by bloggers to make more money from advertisers. The higher your website’s Alexa rank, the more you can charge for advertising space on your website.
  • You can easily find out the rough estimation of the traffic for your competitors’ websites. Alexa is an effective tool to help you gain competitive intelligence and benchmark your website’s performance against that of competitors.
  • Higher Alexa rank also helps you attract high-quality content through guest posts from high-quality sources. Guest writers would naturally want to write for sites with a good ranking in the system.
  • With the information provided by Alexa, you get insights into the performance of your website. This makes it useful for aiding your SEO and marketing efforts.

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Cons

You’ll also find that Alexa rankings aren’t too important for these reasons:

  • Alexa only takes into account data received from users of their toolbar, so the results may be quite relative. Not everyone has the toolbar installed. There are millions of websites that may never receive a good rank despite having a lot of traffic.
  • As previously mentioned, Alexa can be manipulated. Online traffic data can be influenced to a significant extent. The results may not be as accurate as desired if some publishers and webmasters decide to manipulate the tool.
  • Alexa doesn’t separately rank subdomains and subpages within a domain. It only calculates the traffic for the top-level domain, which may result in a few inaccuracies.

In a nutshell, Alexa rankings have their pros and cons, but there is still enough incentive for you to keep track of and improve your website’s Alexa rank.

How to Improve Your Alexa Rank

As briefly mentioned earlier, you can improve your website’s Alexa rank using several ethical practices without manipulating the tool. Below I’ve highlighted some useful tips:

  • Add meta tags to your site on the Alexa tool so that it can be verified as a property of the Alexa account.
  • Add the Alexa widget to your website or blog to get more regular visitors and receive more accurate results.
  • Update your site regularly with fresh, original content that’s useful for your target audience and well-written. Whether you’re a blogger or a web developer, it’s always important to improve user engagement by giving your audience something they’ll find helpful.
  • Try to get visitors and friends to review your site on Alexa. Encourage them to leave nice comments that’ll surely nudge your rankings a bit higher.
  • Promote your articles on popular social networking sites that are frequented by your target audience.
  • Most bloggers have the Alexa toolbar installed, so try focusing on getting more traffic from your specialized niche.
  • You can also leverage the tactic of subdividing your post into multiple pages, which is commonly done by Forbes and Search Engine Journal, to increase page views.
  • Another tactic to improve page views is to move any download buttons to the next page.

Leverage the tricks mentioned above to naturally boost your Alexa rank and increase your website’s popularity.

How Reliable are Alexa Statistics?

While Alexa rankings are a good way to compare one website’s performance with others, Alexa’s statistics are not necessarily accurate in the absolute terms.

Several experts have tried to compare data from Alexa and Google Analytics over the years and have found that the data from Alexa was way off. This is because Google has a much broader coverage than Alexa, as not everyone has the Alexa toolbar.

Due to the relatively lower coverage of websites ranked by Alexa, it is better to not trust the statistics from Alexa, but use it only for comparison purposes.

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Conclusion

It’s fair to say that Alexa rankings are an important part of measuring a website’s SEO performance. Yet, it shouldn’t be used as the primary tool for monitoring traffic since results can be relative and inaccurate.

Instead of ignoring the Alexa ranking system altogether, I suggest that you use it as a complementary tool to strengthen your SEO strategy. A higher Alexa rank can help you improve your site’s popularity and bringing in more revenue.

If you have any questions about Alexa rankings or how they are relevant for your website, feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Originally published at Shanebarker.com.

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