Manipulating Alexa Traffic Rankings

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Manipulating Alexa Traffic Rankings

With the launch of Alexadex “share trading” and more and more sites using Alexa rankings as a way to judge their popularity (mostly because it is the only alternative); especially for ad selling, I thought it would be nice to revisit the manipulation of Alexa, an Amazon.com company. Alexa rankings are based on the amount of times users with the Alexa toolbar installed on their computers visit a web site over a given amount of time.

Most publishers share an unspoken agreement that although Alexa stats are inaccurate, that Alexa is not that far off and its traffic ranking system does give publishers an idea of how they compare with others; the lower the number the better. If a site is ranked less that 100,000 – it’s considered somewhat well traveled, less that 50,000 – popular, less than 10,000 – above the upper echelon of popular sites, and less than 1,000 – the cream of the crop.

I was talking with a friend about Alexa this week and how so many advertising companies, like AdBrite, use Alexa rankings as a way to measure a site’s worth. Alexa is also apparently quite easy to manipulate.

Here’s a step by step trick from Sitepoint Forums member KLB:

1) install the Alexa toolbar into your browser.

2) Create a special webpage that contains a JavaScript array of webpage addresses from your site. Then create a JavaScript function that loops through the array and opens each address into a separate browser window (make sure they all use the same window). Between cycles through the function, cause the function to “sleep” using the “timer()” function for a random interval of time between say 5 and 45 seconds. Make sure that when the function reaches the end of the array of addresses it loops back to the beginning.

3) Periodically set the script to action in your browser with the Alexa toolbar installed and let it churn away overnight. To save bandwidth you can always disable the loading of images. If you want it to be really effective, have a few friends run the same script from their browsers with the Alexa toolbar installed.

That is all there is to it. I did this about a half dozen times to one of my sites over a period of one month and it jumped up to the 80,000 mark in Alexa. I’m sure if I ran it more often it would have done even better.

Or, you can buy your way to a top Alexa ranking via AlexaBooster, which uses some sort of traffic exchange desktop software to boost site views by browsers equipped with Alexa. For $300 a month AlexaBooster claims to secure a 10,000 or above ranking for its customers, for $5,000 a month, a ranking of 100 or above.

AlexaBooster sales copy :

Are you looking for top rankings on alexa.com? If so then you have come to the right place! Alexabooster has been boosting thousands of sites for over 3 years!

Using the alexabooster software can boost your ranking anywhere from 100K or better! Alexabooster is a simple 3 step software that runs hidden in your sytem tray.

And then there is AlexaSurf which differentiates itself with the forementioned Booster tool by not using exchange software but connecting publishers with publishers – humans with humans – for site visiting exchanges to boost traffic popularity numbers:

We have created a tool that does not use any third party software to try and manipulate stats. Our system simply allows you to take part in a traffic exchange system for ONLY users who are using the alexa toolbar. This system will increase your rankings and give you the advantage online.

Our system is the only Free alexa tool that will allow you to boost your rankings without risk of having your site banned. Please feel free to signup and test out or system.

I highly doubt that many publishers are spending $5,000 a month to boost Alexa stats, as true site traffic stats would give more weight to selling ads or trading links than Alexa numbers. But after reading these posts and services, I can’t help but think twice when viewing Alexa stats and feel that they should be taken with a grain of salt more than anything.

When measuring the popularity of a site, along with Alexa rankings one should also review incoming links, web citations (are people talking about the site), request stat & analytics info, and even look a bit into blog rankings in Technorati or Feedster along with Google PageRank. A well rounded approach to judging a site’s worth will give you a much more open idea of value than one set of numbers.

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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  • http://www.davidajao.com Oluniyi David Ajao

    Why would one want to manipulate Alexa’s traffic rank anyway?

    One of the biggest wrongs one could do is self-deception.

    I’m sure Alexa would find a way to block this “get-arounds”.

    Thanks for the self-confession though. ūüėÄ

  • https://www.searchenginejournal.com Loren Baker, Editor

    Well, I do not want to manipulate the rankings, nor have I.

    I just heard it was easy to do, and given these examples it appears that doing so is true.

  • http://www.pdadvance.com Brandon Drury

    I see one problem with this in that it can mislead a person who is about to purchase a domain / website from another person. While most experienced webmasters don’t put much stock in Alexa, those that use javascript hacks and such are possibly misleading their potential customer.

  • http://www.dataphysix-plus.com Arlan Dean

    a best/worse kept secret: Alexa stats self-select…does this all warrant a snicker, a smurk or a wink…or all three?

  • http://ars-dental.com Saro

    You guys are right, but if you would like to know if a site is really doing well, or just been manupulated, check its google ranking as well. If both rankings are good, then the site must be in good standings. I’m currently trying to up my alexa ranking. I have a google rank of 3.

  • http://www.alexaautosurf.com Matt

    We have released AlexaAutoSurf.com – an auto-surf site that only allows users with the Alexa toolbar to join/surf. Take a look at it, most of the sites in the network have already jumped from 7-8 million all the way close to 100,000. It’s a great way to receive thousands of hits daily and you’ll see the results on Alexa!

  • http://www.virtual-reviews.com Syed

    Matt, your AlexaAutoSurf website feature may be pretty cool, and a sly way jumping through the alexa hurdles as with the techniques aforementioned. But, as far as some website owners are concerned, it’s not the amount of traffic, rather the amount of “quality” traffic. Surely having 1000 hits p/day with 10 sales is better than 10,000 hits with 0 sales. Whilst one may argue the conversion rate should generally be constant, that would only really apply if quality of traffic is in linear correlation. For some people like myself, I’d focus on SEO efforts that will bring targetted, interested visitors. Now that is worth bargaining for. Also, as far as advertising space is concerned, typical buyers nowadays go beyond observation of alexa ranking. Words of manipulation on such ranking monitoring tool are spreading across the internet community like a virus! Although my site http://www.virtual-reviews.com is new, I’d quite frankly rather focus on quality, not quantity…

  • http://www.diyetilezayiflama.com diyet

    i am always trying to up my alexa ranking.Because i think it is much more harder than google ranking.Having a good google rank is easy.

  • http://wahyu.com/ Wahyu

    Yeh maybe everyone can boot alexa rank, but I prefer if everyone not cheating to get truth of data traffic.

  • http://www.polish-in-budapest.info/ Ania

    Now your score is #8,290 it’s great and still “dropping”. Awesome ! ūüôā
    You know, I have an opinion about what you write is what you get! If you can write something with enthusiasm, than you can achieve it. Like writing on Alexa Traffic Rank…

    I’ve started a blog on career, jobs, and so on 2 days ago, and now it has a rank #10,000,667.
    Just watch it how fast the rank is dropping!!!
    It’s amazing!

    If I reach #1million I let you know it ;)!

    http://www.polish-in-budapest.info/

  • ukgal22

    As an earlier contributor said; self deception is the worst kind of deception. Forget your rankings (google included) and just try to create informative, helpful websites. Your pressence on the web is pointless and fruitless otherwise.
    As for the Alexa – google race, dont kid yourself. Google is the real deal, alexa is just for wannabees who want to kid themselves. Alexa said my site had circa 600 unique visitors per day. I know for a fact I have never had more than one tenth of that.

  • http://www.madmouse.com/blog/ Squeaky

    My understanding is that the Java script method no longer works to cheat Alexa. I have a hard time believing that Alexa stats can be faked out that easily.

  • http://www.currentreportslive.com Chance

    I have needed to raise my Alexa Rank but am not really sure of how to go about it at a costly rate… I found this article useful and I will give it a try. All or nothing! You can look at my rankings now at http://www.currentreportslive.com and watch and see if my site progresses or not.

  • http://http//www.ganglandmafia.com iain

    i am new to all this but learning fast ,over the last 2 days or so i have brought my ranking down about 2.5 mill which i thought was good going but to hear the ranking can be flaunted by using some software makes me think how long people will actually take alexa ranks seriously when buying websites etc.Could this way of lowering rank not damage alexa’s reputation

  • http://www.atronao.com www.atronao.com

    this is sooo wrong!! don’t do it!

  • http://USLister.com William Flynn

    I would rather have a low Alexa rank and build my site naturally rather then try to cheat the system. My alexa rank is climbing because of a well designed website.

  • http://www.grupoalianzaempresarial.com Angel

    Finally the results are measured in sales, this is the most important parameter.

  • http://plasa.com summer

    I have web site for more news and chat http://plasa.com. how to increase alexa rank it?

  • http://www.buzziboy.com Raj Yadav

    I’ve started kids website http://www.BuzziBoy.com on 1 yaer ago, and now it has a rank #892800. intially i was in 3 lacs….
    Just watch it how fast the rank is dropping!!!

    Please have a look and let the reason behind this…

  • http://www.anydude.com anydude

    I installed the toolbar 2 weeks ago, my site is around 500K now

    http://www.anydude.com

  • http://www.peopleperhour.com Freelance SEO

    Interesting article, it does sound fairly easy to manipulate the Alexa results (at least in the short term), which is why I think Alexa rankings should be taken at least with a pinch of salt.

    Another reason is the sample size and demographic of Alexa toolbar users – at least here in the UK, I have to say that I have never met anyone here that has the Alexa toolbar installed – is it quite popular in the US?

    At least it’s a traffic comparison as opposed to trying to guesstimate your traffic levels like some other services do (and get it horribly wrong!).

    Wish Google would do something similar using the Google toolbar – I’d trust that a lot more!

  • http://gain4x.com duke

    I like to test your system to boost my alexa ranking. Thanks.

  • http://www.reisevergleich24.de caro

    i do the same as duke …

  • http://www.diyetbul.net Diyet

    wow nice article .

  • http://guddagudiya.com GuddaGudiya

    After spending two years building my own website, I was very disappointed that my Alexa ranking was still higher than one million. in order to improve my Alexa rating, I spent about three weeks combing the web to find tips, secrets, and proven strategies for increasing my Alexa ranking. Unfortunately, many of the sites offering advice didn’t even have a high ranking themselves. Please advice!

    http://GuddaGudiya.com

  • http://www.doezit.com Robert Abbott

    I have sites that have no ranking even thou they have been known by Alexa for over one year and alexa has no data for them.But other sites i have that i have not told them about and are only about two months old have a rank of 8.375.886 but google has it as page rank one so go figure

  • http://www.beadalgo.com beadalgo

    Informative and useful article

  • http://www.scienceenthusiast.com/ TB

    My feeling on the Alexa toolbar is that installation demographics vary considerably. I have written several sites, many of which get roughly the same amount of daily traffic, while the Alexa rankings differ considerably. My assessment of the discrepancy points to the type of user you are attracting. A B2B website with visitors typically hitting your site from a computer at work are less likely to have the Alexa toolbar installed than a home user, who typically does not browse B2B sites. I am usually more concerned with the quality of traffic I do receive and put more weight on analyzing my Google Analytics data than my Alexa ranks. It is a good idea to check Alexa occasionally, though.

  • http://www.sunu-tv.com modou

    Simply wonderfull

    http://www.sunu-tv.com

  • http://advertise-marketing.com wowsaver

    Really no need to use any system.
    If you have a valuable website and if you use some good basic SEO, then quality traffic will be established.
    http://www.advertise-marketing.com

  • http://barnawi.com barnawi

    Very useful article

  • http:www.welcometoinsurance.com Frank

    Thanks for the nice article.

    Frank
    http://www.welcometoinsurance.com

  • http://thinkflick.com luke

    I will install this toolbar now. I really interested in increasing alexa ranking

  • http://thebarbadosblog.com The Wandering Scotsman

    I personally see tons of sites out there that have clearly cheated the system to get a high ranking, they are utter garbage sites that offer nothing new!

  • http://www.nigerianbestforum.com Bola

    Alexa traffic rank is of no use as no serious webmaster consider it to be precise http://www.nigerianbestforum.com.

  • http://www.lehren.tv deepsi

    Watch latest free bollywood videos on http://www.lehren.tv

  • http://www.gonewiththetwins.com Mike

    Alexa seems to be less and less reliable. For several of my older sites they still haven’t added thumbnails – and some of my newer ones keep getting thumbnails updated!

  • http://www.moviejungle.com John

    Most webmasters know that Alexa is not a true indication of traffic. It only counts users with the toolbar installed and, up to today, does not include anyone using Windows Vista. Since a majority of computers are sold with Vista these days, the fact that Alexa has still not developed a fix to work with Vista since or prior to the operating system’s launch, is unspeakably bad, especially since it’s owned by Amazon.com

  • http://www.moviejungle.com John

    A clear indication of how bad the traffic rankings are – see http://www.moviejungle.com. Registers millions of pageviews per month and has a ranking over 100,000

  • http://searchengineoptimizationtutorial.blogspot.com/ Sushil Kumar Verma

    Thanks for sharing information related to Alexa traffic Ranking. Really it’s very interesting and knowledge full.

  • http://www.a247diet.com DO

    Be honest. Put alexa wighet on your web page.

  • http://leebone.com badou

    thanks a lot.

  • http://www.union-news.org B-

    cool, if it doesnt work its a good way to get people to use the toolbar

  • http://www.enabling-comms.co.uk Steve

    Does the web counter (widget) you can add to your page increase your traffic rank ?

  • http://www.studycare.info Omio

    ALEXA RANKING WITHIN 1 WEEK – LESS THAN 99,000
    ================================================

    I have a domain http://www.khola-janala.com and just increase the alexa ranking within 1 week. Now my Rank is less than 98,000 !! If you like to boost your alexa ranking. First you need to submit your link to > http://link.khola-janala.com then use http://www.khola-janala.com/alexa/ to generate 1,00,000 visitors per day (Automated Fake Visitors Generator by Proxy)…. You know Google just boost your search engine position if you Alexa ranking is high… So hurry up ūüôā

  • http://www.footknote.com Rey Young

    Really doesn’t make sense to boost your traffic, with fake hits. How would you even keep track of the real people you are trying to target, when your hits are inflated. Sorry but I’ll past, stick to doing things the old school way. promoting real visitors to my site footknote.com

  • http://www.ultimatewebnet.com/ tim

    My site was rank 25million on alexa now it’s 1 million.

    My Site – Rank 1mill on Alexa

  • http://www.china-proxy.org China

    i have checked the alexa booster out a month along and generate daily 3000 proxy visitors… and it helps not realy :-/

    p.s. alexa rank like 1.000.000 is not worth to speak about

  • http://www.webvivah.com Amit

    interesting article…
    have a really nice impact

    check for yourself WebVivah.com

  • http://www.a-scene.com Katie

    Anything above 200,000 not worth bragging about even under 100k is nothing special if you don’t have the traffic to back it up it’s as useless as PR. Check out my site for example.

  • prasad

    good article like it

    regards
    prasad
    http://www.tendertiger.com

  • http://www.webtasarimp.com kenan

    I just use alexa booster for now. Will share results in a week. Probably fake results make impact on alexa. But we will wait&see. Best is seo..this fake results only seem a gas on glass.

  • http://www.iguassu-falls.com Lourenco

    That is really a nice article.
    But every time more, I do not believe that ALEXA is a powerfull toll for webmasters.

  • http://www.guzmanurrero.es Guzm√°n Urrero

    That’s true. One should also review other data besides Alexa ranking.

  • http://ajoliveira.com Antonio J. de Oliveira

    Hello

    I liked the article, I run a few websites, our server has real stats, and quite frankly I don’t see any correlation between alexa figures and real traffic. I most certainly would not use alexa figures to take any decision.
    I came here searching for the reason of that discrepancies…

    Cheers

    Antonio

  • http://www.make-me-lots-of-money.info/ kevin mitchell

    Very interesting reading.I got my website up to about 1,500,000 and now its dropping although i have many more sites linking to it.Very hard to make sense of it all.

  • http://www.avatarforyou.com Avatarforyou

    It doesn’t seem likely that these methods would work since Alexa probably looks for uniques by IP address. It may have worked in the past but I highly doubt it works now. It is better to receive ranking the natural way, and much more ethical. ūüôā

  • scifix

    learned more here http://scifix.000space.com

  • http://www.afrowall.com Afrowall

    Its pretty useless to try to manipulate the ranking since it wont allow you to know your actual ranking.

  • http://www.free-for-all.info/ dir

    forget it, alexa has changed the measure techniques the booster is no more usable.

    the myth with “place alexa widget on website” is useless too.

  • http://seotool.web.id SEO Tool

    This will make Google banned you (I think)

  • http://www.thuanphatmon.com jimmypage

    these tips isn't really usable, it's seem useless to applying in the current alexa.

  • http://www.yreadthis.com/aboutus/ yreadthis

    Alexa ranking is working best for the sites…displays the traffic level of an site which help the sponsors and the ads providers to make use of the high traffic rated sites…
    my site traffic level has been reduced a lot since from 100 cores to 77lakhs…

  • http://www.yreadthis.com/aboutus/ yreadthis

    Alexa ranking is working best for the sites…displays the traffic level of an site which help the sponsors and the ads providers to make use of the high traffic rated sites…
    my site traffic level has been reduced a lot since from 100 cores to 77lakhs…