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Alexa Rank: Ups, Downs, Fluctuations… and Sea Changes

Alexa Rank Graph
Samyak Lalit | January 9, 2014 (Last update: September 23, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

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.

Why does my Alexa Rank Changes so Drastically?

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.

Alexa Rank Graph

Example of Alexa Rank Graph

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.


9 responses to “Alexa Rank: Ups, Downs, Fluctuations… and Sea Changes”

  1. Techkhalifa says:

    I had never noticed before about Alexa. But by reading this, I’d probably try to learn more about Alexa. Thanks for your Information.

  2. Kishore Krishna says:

    Mine is a new blog. One and half months old. Last week my Alexa rank was 18M. Then it moved to 13M, then 7 M, 5M. Today it is at 2M. In one week nearly 15M decrease. What did I do? Installed Alexa toolbar and started commenting on good sites.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      As I have said in this article, Alexa rank fluctuates a lot when it is above 1 million. Even if you get 5-10 visitor on your website every day, you Alexa rank will get reduced by millions.

  3. brijesh says:

    Hi I want to know why my Alexa ranking fluctuates, sometimes down and sometime ups. Please let men know if you guys have any suggestion.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi Brijesh, Alexa rank is a measure of how much traffic your website is getting. Alexa ranking changes when amount of traffic changes. However, if your ranking is in few hundred thousands, then it is also more likely to be influenced by some other factors. The answer is written in the article.

  4. Dr. Arya says:

    My Dental clinic site back links are good. But I have low alexa rank. How to improve alexa ranking?

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      You should focus on improving the traffic on your website, Alexa Rank will automatically improve. Just having backlinks is not a guarantee to have good traffic as well. You should see how much web traffic you have and how you can improve it further.

  5. Riyaz Alam says:

    Thanks lot for the explanation about Alexa Ranking. Now most of the thing that I was looking for are clear. But there are some other doubts in my mind. like, can the Alexa toolbar help to0 reduce it? is it a scale to judge whether my website is eligible for adsense or not? Please answer if possible. Thank you.

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi Riyaz, installing Alexa toolbar may reduce the Rank but there is no firm evidence to support this idea. In any case, there is no harm in installing the toolbar. However, I am pretty sure that Google does not look at Alexa rank while approving AdSense applications. Google looks at the quality of website.

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