Are Alexa rankings still important?

20 replies
I ask, because my site is still up in the million+ range despite its having been live now for around 10 years. Besides that, it comes up for two top keywords in my niche. For one keyword that has over 3 million competing sites, I'm listed first and #3 for another top level keyword.

Considering this success, I expected to see some improvement in my Alexa rank too - I haven't really paid any attention to it for about 3-4 years now.

Not long ago, there were discussions on the Forum stating that Alex isn't really all that important, and it seems to me it's even less important today.

Can someone enlighten me on this? What's more important, coming up #1 for your top level keyword or being in the top 100,000 in Alexa? Or is it all related to what you intend to do with your site, ie: resell it, sell advertising on it, etc.?

Thanks.

Sylvia
#alexa #important #rankings
  • Profile picture of the author Charles E. White
    Are Alexa rankings still important?
    I never realized it was important to begin with, all it does it shows how many visitors that have installed the Alexa toolbar visits your sight. I had a bass fishing site that was number 1 in Google and Number 1 in Yahoo and Alexa didn't even rank it. So, Alexa has never meant much to me.

    Even ranking #1 in Google doesn't mean that much but I do like to be in the first ten on the first page in the search result for my keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnathan
    alexa is more or less good for competitive knowledge... not necessarily 'helping' you rank highly...

    for example, by telling me you are ranked about 1 million in alexa, I can make a pretty well educated (& accurate) guess that you probably get about 200-250 visitors/day... Am I correct?
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Well, you know, Johnathan, I really thought I was getting more traffic so I just checked and it averages out to about 100-107 per day - the same as it was about 2 years ago - some days I get around 200 and other days around 150 with some days under 100.

      About the Alexa toolbar... I did install it several times but it always screws up on my IE, so for some odd reason I can't use it. Since then, I've stopped looking, but at one time I did notice that every site but mine (that I checked ) had a rank about 1/2 mine or better. It became so disheartening I was almost glad the toolbar didn't work.

      The thing I don't understand is that my site IS so high for my main keywords, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to my sales - still minimal at best. This would tell me that even though there are 12,000 searches for my main keyword, people aren't clicking. I would expect that people seeing an opening blurb like this would want to click through:

      "Is anxiety fear ruling your life? Want help with anxiety that actually works?..."

      I agree it's not the best, but it hits some important points. Maybe I'm wrong?

      BTW, "anxiety" is NOT my main keyword.

      Sylvia
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      • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
        Sylvia,

        You need to tweek your serp description just as you would any other copy that is designed to get you visitors.

        One common misconception that a lot of people buy into is that having your webpage high up on the serps will bring a lot of visitors because the search count is high.

        Being near the top of the serps only allows for the opportunity to get visitors. It is no guarantee people will click on your link. They will click on links that appear to solve their search criteria and generally ignore the rest.

        I have found tweeking the description the search engines show can have a dramatic effect on getting people to click my links.

        Interestingly, from my viewpoint at least, was when I changed one of my links description from a:

        Blah blah blah blah blah... type of verbage, to a:

        Blah blah | Blah blah | Blah blah... type of synopsis of what the webpage was about using the "|" symbol as a divider. I increased my click through rate to that page, and hence my sales.

        I'm not saying that this will work universally, but it is worth testing if you are looking to increase your ctr.

        Always test your descriptions until you find a control that works. And then periodically test against the control.

        KJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Buckley
    Alexa rank means, essentially, nothing. The only traffic counted by Alexa is traffic from people with the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser.

    A couple of years ago, it was reported that the Alexa toolbar was, basically, malware. As a result, millions of people removed their toolbar from their browsers...and poof! went the traffic statistics.

    The only value of Alexa today is for updating your websites thumbnail. Most search engines who use thumbnails draw them from Alexa.
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  • Profile picture of the author axeray
    I've been working online for 5 years now and I've never bothered worrying about with Alexa.

    I haven't bothered with their toolbar either, I mean, how many toolbars can a user have?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanman
    Alexa only counts hits and not uniques...That way you can use auto surfs and get millions of hits. Therefore alexa is of no use anymore.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
    The Alexa rank depends on your niche. If you are in Internet marketing, people who visit will likely have that toolbar installed - if you are in Scrapbooking, your audience haven't ever heard of Alexa.

    And btw - why not use Firefox, like all sensible people?
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Originally Posted by Killer Joe View Post

      Sylvia,

      You need to tweek your serp description just as you would any other copy that is designed to get you visitors.

      One common misconception that a lot of people buy into is that having your webpage high up on the serps will bring a lot of visitors because the search count is high.

      Being near the top of the serps only allows for the opportunity to get visitors. It is no guarantee people will click on your link. They will click on links that appear to solve their search criteria and generally ignore the rest.

      I have found tweeking the description the search engines show can have a dramatic effect on getting people to click my links.

      Interestingly, from my viewpoint at least, was when I changed one of my links description from a:

      Blah blah blah blah blah... type of verbage, to a:

      Blah blah | Blah blah | Blah blah... type of synopsis of what the webpage was about using the "|" symbol as a divider. I increased my click through rate to that page, and hence my sales.

      I'm not saying that this will work universally, but it is worth testing if you are looking to increase your ctr.

      Always test your descriptions until you find a control that works. And then periodically test against the control.

      KJ
      Thanks, KJ. That is very helpful. So I have to change... the description in my meta tags? How long will it take for Google to register the new description? Well, what am I saying... silly question right? It would happen as soon as they spider my site again - I'm assuming. In essence then, you could keep changing your description every few weeks until you get more traffic and/or sales. It never entered my head to mess with the description once it had been indexed. :rolleyes:


      Originally Posted by sunnyman View Post

      The Alexa rank depends on your niche. If you are in Internet marketing, people who visit will likely have that toolbar installed - if you are in Scrapbooking, your audience haven't ever heard of Alexa.

      And btw - why not use Firefox, like all sensible people?
      True about the IM users vs general audiences.

      I'll take your comment as an attempt at humor. I've tried Firefox and it's a pain in the Butt - especially for someone who has worked mostly in IE. IE has its drawbacks, but Firefox is just... lacking. Only about 23% of people visiting my site are using Firefox. IE is the majority and one or two are using other browsers. Since I build my own web pages, it makes more sense to design them for IE. And that requires using IE to view my finished pages. So Firefox... no thanks.

      Sylvia
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      • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
        Sylvia,

        If you know the verbage the serps display, go to your webpage and click on 'view source'. Find the verbage on your page, it could be the meta description, or it could be in the title like in the example I gave you above. It could even be pulled from the content.

        Create new verbage using your exisiting keywords to replace the existing verbage and try adding a call to action as well. You want to make the description as enticing to the reader as possible without upsetting the keyword focus.

        Google will change the description it displays the next time it spiders that page. Keep a log of visitors coming from the search engine/keyword combo and see how your stats change. You do monitor your stats, don't you

        Another advantage to having a good description displayed is that if searchers click your link more, and they stay on your webpage, Google and others will know that you are giving their customers relevant content and hence they will give you more 'love'.

        KJ
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          Originally Posted by Killer Joe View Post

          Sylvia,

          If you know the verbage the serps display, go to your webpage and click on 'view source'. Find the verbage on your page, it could be the meta description, or it could be in the title like in the example I gave you above. It could even be pulled from the content.
          Oh, That's right. I do remember something about that... it's not always the meta tags. One of my earlier sites got listed by navigation buttons, which was absolutely useless - and I did have description tags. That's when I learned about Google picking whatever it sees first, which is why it's better to have your navs on the right in a column and your important content on the left, including image alt tags. So that's how I organize my pages now unless my top nav buttons use keywords instead of pages, ie: About Us or Articles.

          Keep a log of visitors coming from the search engine/keyword combo and see how your stats change. You do monitor your stats, don't you
          'fraid not. I only use the web stats in my host account which I know isn't the best. I do have Google Analytics on my site somewhere but since I started switching things around, apparently the code got lost. Yet I still get results in my GA account. But... no, I don't monitor them very often because they don't change much from one day/month to the next. I haven't spent much time with SEO since I first redid my site a few years back. I found the task very frustrating. In fact, eventually Google made my site disappear for awhile because of a desperate act on my part.

          Another advantage to having a good description displayed is that if searchers click your link more, and they stay on your webpage, Google and others will know that you are giving their customers relevant content and hence they will give you more 'love'.
          Yes, that's a problem I have now. The majority of visitors never leave Page 1 and 79% only stay for less than 30 seconds. Only about 5% stay long enough to actually read anything. That was a disturbing find. I've modified my home page several times, but the best I've managed is to drop that from 89%.

          Sylvia
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          • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
            Sylvia,

            If you want, PM me the keyword or keyphrase I can find your site on Google with, along with your website name and I will take a look-see.

            Perhaps I can give you a few pointers to help you out. No promises, and no, I am not soliciting your business, just trying to help.

            KJ
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  • Profile picture of the author ricepudding9
    Well it gives you an indication of around how many users visit you blog, so it can be helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author naphets66
    No, unless you are a blogger who wants to sell private ads. Then it could count toward the amount you can charge per month. But I can attest that the numbers are way off. Both of my blogs are ranked way way above what I expect from the traffic while an ecommerce site I run gets 4 times the traffic and has an Alexa ranking of 500,000.
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  • Profile picture of the author JECKELLL
    IMO opinion alexa rankings are still important. For backlink reasearch purposes.
    As high popularity websites give stronger link juice.
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Thanks, JK... sent you a PM.

      I just made a quick post to my blog and see that my Google rank, that used to be 3 for over a year, is no 1. What the heck is going on?

      Sylvia
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  • Alexa who? Give me the top keypword listing on Google versus being in the Alexa Top one million and I'll take that everytime.
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  • Profile picture of the author Writing Pete
    For search engine rankings and actual traffic measurements: hell no!

    If you're going to sell your site on ad space on your site it becomes (kind of) important.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fender85
    Alexa ranking is not a good indicator of site quality, and Google knows it. Years ago the algorithm did seem to include Alexa ranking, and then next thing you know you could buy scripts that would bump your Alexa ranking, so Google stopped looking at it.
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  • Profile picture of the author edpudol1973
    I guess alexa ranking is important only to those who are in the buy and sell website business. Because of most the time they are using it as one of their sales pitch to convince their prospect customers that their site is worth to buy.

    Other than that I don't see any other reason why alexa is important in site owners or IMers.
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