Alexa Introduces New Ranking System : Beyond the Toolbar

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Now being in the Alexa top 100,000 actually means something!

For more or less 8 years (well 10 for one of them) there have been only two across the board methods of measuring the importance and popularity of a website : Alexa Ranking and Google PageRank. Both methods are flawed.

Sure, others have entered the fold, with Yahoo Backlinks, and even SEOmoz PageStrength entering the fold (although PageStrength is dependent upon the others); but even given their weaknesses, no other web metrics have added up to the authority given to Alexa and Google (Toolbar) PageRank.

With web traffic and popularty measurement startups like and Quantcast breathing down Alexa’s neck, the owned company has finally taken steps to rework their ranking system and broaden the monitoring of website traffic outside of the Internet marketer and webmaster influenced toolbar market (more or less, only site owners knowingly download Alexa so they can monitor or influence their own Alexa stats).

Alexa is now going Beyond the Toolbar for rankings gathered from Numerous Sources.

Today Alexa announced that they have launched a new Alexa Rankings system which offers :

  • More Sources : Alexa rankings are now based on more sources of data to give a better indicator of website popularity.
  • Better Rankings : Rankings are now a better indicator of site popularity due to new and improved algorithms.
  • Improved Methodology : Alexa aims to provide consistently accurate rankings for all countries.

From Alexa:

When Alexa began displaying rankings in 1998 it was with the goal of showing Alexa Toolbar users how popular any given site was within the Alexa community. We generated the rankings through an analysis of Internet usage by people who use the Alexa Toolbar. Since that time we’ve been delighted to see that the Alexa Rankings have become a yardstick by which website popularity is measured. We are grateful to the thousands of people who come to each day to check the Alexa Rankings.

In recent months we’ve heard from our Alexa users that understanding Internet usage beyond Alexa Toolbar users was increasingly of interest. Ask and you shall receive!

We listened to your suggestions, and we believe that our new rankings system is much closer to what you asked for. We now aggregate data from multiple sources to give you a better indication of website popularity among the entire population of Internet users.

Have you noticed a change in your Alexa Rank? We’ve dropped down to the 30,000 level while other top search marketing blogs have also followed this course. This should be an indicator that Alexa is working better.

I’d like to also know the other sources Alexa is working with. My assumption is other toolbar companies like, Conduit or maybe even ISP’s for tracking this information. There are also many desktop widget companies and browser extensions which monitor surfing behavior. And since Alexa is an property, which or tools is Alexa using to measure web surfing?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • * Miss UNIVERSE

    They simply waited too long to get the message.

    For years, Webmasters have been complaining about their relevancy

    They have now lost most of their credibility due to the newer startups that kept refining their tools

  • Dave

    It seems that webmasters were the only ones that ever installed the Alexa toolbar.

  • Ed Bennett

    I gave up on Alexa years ago, the charts never made sense and didn’t come close to my traffic data. After looking at Compete and a few others, the only one that gave accurate numbers was Quantcast. I don’t know what algorithm they use but they tracked numbers that closely match the low-traffic sites I manage.

  • China Hosting

    It will definitely give more credibility to the Alexa toolbar. I have been quite surprised however to see some of our site, which supposedly are used mainly by internet marketers, actually improve in ranking. I guess we are doing better in terms of popularity than we thought ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Mike

    If I were the guys at Alexa I would keep my “numerous sources” well and truly under my hat. That’s the only way they can claw back any kind of credibility and become a useful metric.

  • Rainman

    The long-overdue update Alexa Rankings.

  • Alexa Fan

    I would always laugh when someone would rave about their 3 million+ Alexa ranking and I ask them if they even knew what that meant. They would reply, uh….my webmaster said it is good.

    The ranking really was only important for link brokering or domain selling but with the new ranking methodology maybe more than SEO’s will actually have a reason to follow it more.

    Only time will tell…..

  • Find Trade Leads

    Just 2 weeks back my Alexa ranking was coming down by very positively(58090). But from last week i noticed a change and now my daily rank is beyond 100K and avg is 94000. I think in the next updation my ranking will go down very much. I think its going to affect me very badly. ๐Ÿ™

    Any one else experiencing similar probs?

  • alexa widgets redirection

    I heared the announcement that alexa has changed its ranking algorithm. I am little happy with this change because my website got little improvment. see new alexa ranking for Fortune Park Hotels Ltd.

  • peterahon

    I just want to know which among ranking system have the feature that ranks pages in different countries, so far it is only alexa that have it? I would be glad to know – ranks top 100 websites in different parts of the world.

  • WaterLeads

    Does anybody actually use the Alexa toolbar?

    I’m an internet market / entrepreneur (whatever you want to call it) and I always wondered if a high alexa ranking was an indication of being disproportionally popular among AVERAGE people….or among IM’ers/”Make MoneyOnline” people.

    Which is it?