Alexa Website Rankings

by Professor

Alexa is a web company that collects data on websites and publishes the ranking of websites from number 1 (Google) to number 2 (Facebook) to number 1 692 102 (this site) to over 5 million based on the traffic they get.

Where do they get there data from? They have several million users that use the Alexa toolbar. The toolbar sends data back to Alexa each time a user visits a website. Several million users sounds impressive which has led many to put a lot of credibility to the Alexa rankings, but is it really that credible? No its not. The several million users are a biased population. They tend to be more technologically savvy than the average web user (only those who are technologically savvy will likely download and install the toolbar), so the Alexa results will be heavily biased toward the web site that the technologically savvy tend to visit. Also anyone with a website can install the toolbar (and get a few buddies to do the same thing) and visit their own website several times a day, just to inflate the Alexa ranking of their own website!

The Alexa rankings suck, they are biased and easily manipulated. You can even pay people to manipulate them.

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