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Are Alexa Rankings Becoming Irrelevant?

If you weren’t already aware, Alexa just instituted an update to their rankings – with pretty dramatic changes for many websites out there.

A case in point: My blog’s 3 month ranking had been 70,655  (still captured at Mark Wielgus’ Top 100 blog rankings)  – it’s now 157,638.

How an update can revise your website position by 80,000 positions is beyond me.

But that’s not the end of the goodness in store.

Mark’s 45n5 website has gone from 27,961 to  89,002 (a difference of 61,000 places)

The blogosphere’s most recognized ProBlogger Darren Rowse’s rating has been revised from 3,797  to 12,917 .

Which makes you wonder if these numbers are being pulled out of a hat…Given that a number of advertising-related monetization strategies use (in my opinion, outdated) metrics like Alexa – somebody out there is going to be hurting from this latest change.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t suffer from web stats/analytics OCD, though I like to look at these numbers to get a rough gauge of a site’s credibility. So what happens if a metric like Alexa is shot to pieces?

I suspect this move only speeds the migration of people to alternative metric services like Quantcast and Compete which seem to give more accurate traffic snapshots.

My advice all this time, that monetization is a better metric than traffic or page rank or (fill in your favorite) rank still holds true.

Now if 45n5′s Mark will remove Alexa from his ranking criteria and replace it with something else…

7 comments on Are Alexa Rankings Becoming Irrelevant?

  1. Jeremy Palmer
    April 18, 2008 at 12:10 am (4052 days ago)

    In my opinion they have always been irrelevant. I stopped looking at the Alexa ratings in 2003.

  2. Jeremy Palmer
    April 18, 2008 at 12:12 am (4052 days ago)

    From John Battelle’s blog:

    I have not dug in, but it’s good to see Alexa 1. admit it was totally apples to watermelons and 2. see Amazon push some weight behind the still hopelessly lame world of third party traffic measurement.

  3. Aaron at FullTiltBlogging.com
    April 18, 2008 at 2:39 am (4052 days ago)

    Before this update Alexa rankings were only comparable by industry, since each industry tended to have more or less Alexa users depending on the particular niche.

    Now it is a much more holistic view of traffic.

    My non internet marketing related websites were unaffected by the update, while so of my internet marketing related sites were lowered. Interestingly FullTiltBlogging.com stayed the same which makes me wonder if the length of the data stream has an impact as well.

  4. Pat Smith
    April 19, 2008 at 8:22 am (4051 days ago)

    I noticed my ranking changed too, but did not understand the reason for it. Thanks for the update on alexa.Now things make more sense.

  5. robi
    April 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm (4050 days ago)

    My page ( http://www.alpikor.org ) jumps from 470.000 to 1.300.000. Well… I don’t take alexa serious since I can make better analytics through google analytics. Of course, I’d like to compare traffic to my page with the others – but alexa isn’t a tool you can trust.
    My opinion: alexa was irrelevant before this dramatic changes. Now it’s dead.

  6. DavidTan
    April 26, 2008 at 1:30 am (4044 days ago)

    Not all sites were harmed anyway, some of my sites got improved rankings. but like you said, why the drop and rise, no one knows for sure.

  7. th?m m? vi?n
    April 25, 2014 at 10:01 am (1854 days ago)

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the
    challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.

    Thanks for sharing!

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