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Articles for Webmasters     How accurate is Alexa Traffic Rank? Reporting personal experience



By Bob Newman

I have create some websites, and I have compared the Alexa Traffic Rank, the number of visits per month provided here (which is closely related to Alexa traffic Rank), and the number of visits according to my server's stats.

Alexa Traffic Rank
 
Visits per month
(estimation)
Visits per month
(real)
1394854210019838
3520451560718633
7232423631118039
95947511402539
97481297839361
213805467412558
69007655695186
135104184231044
14638041399289
Data obtained from 9 websites on 2010/09/01.
Real number of visitors was obtained from website's statistics, and number of visits corresponds to previous month.

According to Alexa.com, "Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources".

I am not using the Alexa Toolbar, so I suppose I am not feeding during my navigation through the Internet the databases used by Alexa to determinate Alexa Traffic Rank of websites I am visiting. As most users are not using the toolbar, I suppose it is the basic reason for this lack of agreement bettween estimation and real data. I suppose the disagreement will be higher for specialized websites (the number of Scientifics visiting a website related to their work and using the toolbar is probably under the median), while some kind of agreement may be found for users of very generalized services (as for example search engines, email services, social bookmarking...).

As pointed out by alexa.com, "The traffic data are based on the set of toolbars that use Alexa data, which may not be a representative sample of the global Internet population.".

Consequently, the importance of Alexa Traffic Rank is relative, and do not trust too much on this index.

 

 


Comments to this article


Tom SeriousSolutions (2013:06:10 13:39) I find that Alexa is a very fair score. Alexa not only use traffic as an input for their traffic scores. Remember the bounce rate and pages visited are also part of the calculation. I tried the same exercise to compare websites. Websites with more or less the same traffic but lower bounce rates and higher visitor duration times and higher "pages visited" figures were scored much higher.

Tom (2012:09:09 14:18) Yes, we all understand that alexa is not very accurate but I find that the trend is very accurate. What ever my traffic is in general it will go down by some percent when alexa goes up.... of course a single month can be very inacurrate so I look at the trend for 90 days. Every single time I tested and alexa went up for 3 months my traffic dipped on average for the 3 month test. anyone else experience this same or different results..

SearchRobot (2011:12:10 09:55) Alexa is a good service, probably not very accurate however especially showing who links to your site is interesting. Finding a good stats program is hit and miss namely awstats, stat counter and google analytics. Often i spend too much time looking at stats, when i could be improving my site. Alexa is an excellent resource but not accurate.

Joe (2010:09:28 20:38) My experience is similar. The Alexa data does not match real data in my 3 websites.

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