Alexa Rank (AR) is one of the yardstick used by many people to judge the amount of traffic on a website. But we need to think whether Alexa Rank is reliable or not. Like most tech bloggers, I am also not a fan of website traffic data and rank provided by Alexa. Any sensible person can understand that Alexa Rank is not at all accurate. But nevertheless, Alexa’s rank remains to be a much talked about and often quoted number. I will talk about reliability of Alexa on some other day –but today I am going to answer a much simpler question that bothers a number of newbies bloggers.
New bloggers often notice great and sudden changes in the Alexa Rank of their blog. More often than not, these changes are inexplicable. Sometime rank will go up by hundreds of thousands of points. Other times it will drop without having any correlation with changes in web traffic.
A number of bloggers, especially those who have new blogs or websites, notice that the AR of their web traffic jumps around a lot. In a few days, their AR takes a leap of millions of rank points and at times they lose rank, again by hundreds of thousands or even millions.
The reason behind this phenomenon is that most of the websites on Internet are those with very little traffic. And this is the answer to your question. Let's understand it with an example.
Let's assume that there are five million websites that receive 2 visitors a day and another one million websites with 3 visitors a day. Now if your website is currently getting 2 visitors a day –you'll be ranked somewhere among the bunch of those five million websites. But as soon as you begin to get a third visitor –viola! your AR may jump by millions as you leave the club of 2 visitors per day and enter the club of 3 visitors a day. Addition of just one visitor causes your Alexa Rank to sky-rocket. A reverse of this can also happen if, instead of gaining, you lose one visitor and enter the club of websites with one visitor per day.
Now you may have understood that the higher rank you gain –the more difficult it becomes to proceed even further. At the lower levels of Alexa Rank –it is much easier to gain (or lose) rank points. But at the higher levels, your rank sees small changes and that too only if your web traffic goes significantly up or down.
After all this explanation, I would again like to reiterate that you should take AR with a pinch of salt. This ranking system is definitely not accurate –and in fact, I would say, it is badly flawed. But that explanation is for another day.
Hope this little piece answered your question. Let me know what you think of Alexa Rank.