What is Alexa and the Alexa Rankings, Traffic and Tools?

  • SumoMe

When you’re in the Internet marketing world, you will encounter different tools and resources.  If you’re a website owner, however, you will want to follow your site’s development and popularity.  Are you doing the right thing?  How can you gain more web traffic?  Is your site ranking well to search engines?  Well, in order for these questions to get answered, you will need website tools and information, obviously.  So, the next question will be, “How do you get them?”.  This is where Alexa comes in.

Alexa 101

Image representing Alexa as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

While researching for tools, you most probably have encountered Alexa and its website.  In fact, if you are a website owner (new or otherwise), SEO company or even a SEO expert, you may have already used some of Alexa’s tools (or all of them) already and fondly depended on their reports.  But let’s pause for a moment and take a quick look at Alexa and what it really is about.

Alexa (Alexa Internet, Inc.) is an Internet information provider company from California, U.S.  Amazon.com is its parent company.  Alexa started in 1996, founded by Bruce Gilliat and Brewster Kahle.

Alexa Rankings, Traffic and Tools

Since Alexa is one of the leading internet statistics provider, their reports and rankings are considered as reliable and accurate – for the most part.  Let me explain that side note later.

One of Alexa’s famous tools is the Alexa Toolbar.  This is an application that can be installed in most browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome).  This is how Alexa gauges website statistics.  The best thing about this is it’s free to download and install.  With the statistics and analytics you can get from the toolbar, a website owner can run competitive analysis, market research, and much more.

Image representing Alexa as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

This toolbar is rather helpful even for non-website owners as well, as it has different features like “Related Links” where it finds sites related to the site you are currently on.  Other features are of course, the “Alexa Traffic Rank” where you will see how famous the website is online, “Wayback” (if you’re curious on how a site looked in the past), “Website Reviews”, “Search Analytics” (for Chrome extension) where you can check which search query drives traffic to a specific site, “Hot Pages & Searches” (for Firefox and Internet Explorer), and many more.

The side note I had earlier about Alexa being reliable and accurate for the most part is, as I have mentioned as well, Alexa works hand in hand with the toolbar.  With this toolbar, Alexa can collate data from website viewers and visitors that installed the toolbar … if these people don’t have it then it goes without saying that their browsing activities are not counted or will not be included in the said reports and statistics.  But then again, there are several Alexa toolbar users (millions) so Alexa’s stats are still respected and considered reliable, and mostly accurate, considering.

For site owners solely, Alexa offers paid tools such as “Alexa Pro” where you can subscribe for “Premium Listing” and certify your site. They also have a “Bi-Weekly Site Audits” where Alexa analyzes your website as a paid service – which means more detailed reports and insights on how you can improve your site’s rankings, and gain more traffic.  Another tool (free) is “Claim Your Site” which needs registering (also for free).

What do you think of Alexa and its tools?  Do you have Alexa Toolbar installed?  Let us know what you think in a comment below. Thank you!

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