Most people involved with Internet marketing have heard of Alexa.com, and most probably have used it once or twice (never usually three times though). Alexa is supposed to be a website that offers you statistics on your website, and other websites, relating to traffic levels and how popular a website is in relation to others on the Internet.
However, many people have fallen foul of these bold claims from Alexa and don’t realise that it can only record statistics from visitors who actually have the Alexa Toolbar installed on their browser… do you?
Of course, the people most likely to have the Alexa Toolbar installed are those who want to check their own stats, and because of the lack of widespread use of the Toolbar, simply installing it and accessing your own website a few times per day will increase your Alexa ‘ranking’. Alexa has been described famously as a ‘Tamagotchi for Webmasters’ because you can see your site grow with every click of your mouse.
For this reason, any ‘stats’ offered by Alexa are wildly inaccurate at best, at worst they’re total guesswork. Incredible then that many so called Internet marketing professionals (usually those people involved with buying advertising) still use Alexa when judging whether to advertise on a website.
What is more incredible is that some people even use Alexa to monitor their own web traffic instead of something reliable such as, oh we don’t know, maybe Google Analytics. Using Alexa to track your website’s traffic is like using a Ouija board as an answering machine.
With that scathing insult, let’s look at seven uses for Alexa.com in an Internet marketing environment.
- You can self inflate your own ranking to make others think your website is more important than it really is.
- This could allow you to land advertising from people less informed about Internet marketing.
- It acts as a link to your website.
- It features your website’s URL so could, in theory, be used for reputation management… say, that’s actually pretty good. We’ll write that one down.
- You can see related sites that other people have clicked on as well as yours, which could be useful for identifying competition or link partners.
- The pretty graphs are a nice shade of blue.
- We give up, it’s hopeless. Alexa is as much use as a 4×4 in Chiswick.
For what it’s worth, here’s our Alexa ranking. Isn’t it lovely?