December 3, 2008
Alexa, which is owned by Amazon.com, gives away a free toolbar that you can download and install in your browser. Alexa is then able to keep track of the sites you visit and compute the traffic ranking of those websites, with a rank of “1” being the assigned to the most visited site.
If you want a more technical definition, Alexa explains it like this:
“The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources, and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach). As a first step, Alexa computes the reach and number of page views for all sites on the Web on a daily basis. The main Alexa traffic rank is based on a value derived from these two quantities averaged over time (so that the rank of a site reflects both the number of users who visit that site as well as the number of pages on the site viewed by those users).”
In April 2008 Alexa revised its methodology so as to “aggregate data from multiple sources to give you a better indication of website popularity among the entire population of Internet users”. (http://awis.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html)
How accurately this method reflects the actual surfing patterns of all Internet users is open to question. However, if you bear in mind that by the end of 2005 the toolbar has been downloaded well over 10 million times you will realize why many people still think that Alexa offers one of the best approximations that we have of website ranking, especially for the top 100,000 or so websites.
That is why Alexa remains an important measure of a website’s status and is used as a quick way to assess the popularity of a website by advertisers looking for the maximum exposure for the their money. Websites with a higher Alexa ranking also tend to be trusted more than those with a low ranking, so it is in the interest of website owners to get their sites ranked as highly as possible with Alexa.
Here are some quick and easy tips to help you do that without spending a single dollar!
1. Install the Alexa toolbar and set your website as your homepage.
2. Copy and paste an Alexa rank widget onto your website. You can get the widget code at http://www.alexa.com/site/site_stats/signup. As well as informing your visitors about your Alexa rank, it will also keep Alexa updated about the number of unique visitors surfing your site.
3. Create a customized version of the Alexa tool bar, Then place a link on your site to the download page and invite your visitors to download it. You will also earn Amazon commissions every time a user shops on Amazon via the toolbar link.
4. If you have a WordPress blog there is a plug-in for Alexa Ranking (wp-Alexa-redirect-0.3plug-in) that you can use.
5. Submit your site to web directories. Although a lot of directories charge a registration fee, you can still find many that are willing to list your site free of charge or in exchange for a reciprocal link. A lot of the webmasters who browse web directories have the Alexa bar installed, so if they click your link it will help your Alexa traffic rank.
6. Become an active participant on Internet marketing and SEO forums. Again, a lot of those forum participants are already webmasters and a high percentage will use the Alexa toolbar when they surf. Place a link to your site in your signature and your rank will improve when any of those people click through.
7. A lot of Asian and Australian websites feature in the Alexa top 100,000 and you can bet that a lot of website owners will have the Alexa toolbar installed, so it makes sense to join social networking sites that are popular in those regions, such as:
* http://www.orkut.com – Orkut is owned by Google and is the second most visited site in India.
* http://hi5.com – Hi5 has an Alexa ranking of 17 at the time of writing this article.
8. Become an Alexa expert and post articles that discuss Alexa ranking and SEO tips. This will attract people to your site who may be interested in downloading your toolbar, or people who have already done so. Either way, it will be good for your Alexa ranking. You could even build a whole category of articles on your website devoted to this theme.
9. Set up a freebie page on your website and post a list of useful tools to attract other website owners to your site. Include another link to your Alexa toolbar download page.
10. Get into the habit of using Stumbleupon and other bookmarking sites to spread the word whenever you post a new article on your website or blog. Set up a group of fellow website owners so that you can have run reciprocal stumbling campaigns for better results.
If you apply these ten quick and easy methods you will definitely see an improvement in your Alexa rank and you should also start to attract more traffic to your site!
Darrell Howell is an Internet Marketer and Blogger. Check out his Blog at http://www.blueridgemoney.info Sign up for a free Internet Marketing Newsletter here.