I have been driving myself crazy watching the Alexa rank on MortarBlog. As the blogosphere lacks a meaningful traffic measurement system, most blogrolls (lists of top blogs – like the right hand column here) draw on the Alexa rank of the sites listed. But Alexa seems flawed to me.
First, let’s refresh ourselves on how Alexa works:
"Alexa Rank is a relative measurement on how popular a web site among the Internet community. Alexa is relative because it depends on the data of Alexa Toolbar users. And also Alexa Toolbar is only for Internet Explorer which means it doesn’t count growing group of Firefox fans or any other browser users. But there are over 10 million Alexa Toolbar users who make it a recognized measurement.
Alexa orders web sites according to Alexa Traffic they get. That means a site with a rank of 1000 gets more traffic than a site with rank of 1001 according to Alexa, of course." HomeBizPal.
So why does Alexa suck? Well, the last few weeks were banner weeks for MortarBlog. We had huge traffic from two great mentions from the lovely Angela Natividad on AdRants (eSurance and Anti-Advertising) and design site NotCot sent hundreds of fans of St Mary’s campaign our way after posting about our new ER campaign. Consequently we received 10x more traffic last week than we had ever got before.
And our Alexa rank shot down fom 580,000 to 800,000 or so (bear in mind 1 is good, 800,000 is bad). Um. Now many marketing blog sites, like the mighty Seth Godin’s have impressive Alexa ranks and cater to the ad community: so it can’t be all down to Marketing and Ad types using a Mac+Firefox combo.
And its not just me. We are in the midst of launching a blog site for a technology client. When we proposed the idea of using Alexa ranks to monitor their success, the client’s CTO (and this is one sharp hombre) shot back a look of disgust.
So, there you have it. Alexa technology defines the list of top blogs, but seems to be fatally flawed.