Ranking and Alexa

Most businesses that have online presence, take online marketing strategy and campaign seriously to improve their conversion rate. There are several methods that businesses do to attract targeted traffic to their websites. Some aim for Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), while some others concern more on heavy traffic. Either way, every business goal is to achieve financial success.

While many people think that scoring high with Google and other notable search engines may seem to be only for business people to make themselves known and thus reaching their goal, the number of people that think Alexa ranking system can benefit them as well is increasing.

Alexa ranking is a ranking system set by Alexa Internet, Inc. (alexa.com). Alexa is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.. Alexa was founded in 1996, and audits the frequency of visits on various websites.

The algorithm according to which Alexa traffic ranking is calculated is based on the amount of traffic recorded from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed over a period of three months, and other data sources "beyond Alexa toolbar users" since April 2008.

This traffic is based on parameters such as reach and page views. The reach refers to the number of users who visit a particular site in one day. Page view refers to the number of times a particular page (URL) is viewed. Multiple visit on the same day by the same user will be counted as one.

The ranking process is calculating the reach and number of page views for all the sites on the web on a daily basis. The Alexa ranking is obtained by performing the geometric mean of reach and page views, averaged over a predefined period of time.

The Ranking System

Alexa is also known for its toolbar. This toolbar offers a search function and displays the rank (at a global level) of the visited site, as well as the sites that have been visited by web surfers that are linked in some way to the site being visited.

The Alexa toolbar collect data and sends it to the central server. This means that each time a user is visiting a web page from a browser that has the Alexa toolbar installed, the information is sent to the Alexa servers indicating the user's IP and the page he/she is visiting. This data is gathered by all web users that have installed the Alexa toolbar.

The Pros and Cons


  • Alexa traffic can be used as a competitive intelligence tool.
  • The ranks offers information, makin it a good tool for Search Engine Optimization.
  • As opposed to Google's PageRank, the lower your ranking number, the better.
  • Helps webmasters and advertisers see the marketing potential of a website.
  • Personal pages or blogs are taken into consideration and ranked in the same manner as regular websites.


  • Not everybody has the Alexa toolbar installed.
  • Subdomains are not ranked separately, and neither are subpages within a domain. The overall traffic is calculated for the top-level domain only.
  • Some people say Alexa traffic can be "influenced".


There are pros and cons to Alexa ranking. Most people consider it valuable only for direct advertising. Given the fact that Alexa ranking for a site is calculated on the basis of how many visitors with the Alexa toolbar installed have visited that particular site, the results can be inaccurate most of the time.

Although Alexa have less in accuracy, its rank is still considered important because there are lots of customers and advertisers who take Alexa rankings seriously. Many program and services on the internet still count on Alexa ranking and Google PR to determine how popular a particular site is.

The information given by Alexa may prove useful for sites with very good traffic that attract highly targeted leads, since Alexa focuses more on the traffic that websites receive rather than the links that coming in or out of it. As "The Web Information Company", Alexa ranking is a useful information tool for many people and businesses.