Alexa Total Fail
The names Jeff Bezos and Amazon are normally associated with quality services and goods. (For example, few people are aware that Amazon owns IMDB the site which all film buffs consider the bible for movie and television show information.) So the question then becomes why does Amazon damage its brand by being associated with such a shoddy service as Alexa? For those who don’t know about Alexa it’s a service that purports to rank websites by their traffic. However, it does so by relying on a self-selected group which consists of people who install the Alexa toolbar in their browsers. Now who would install its toolbar? Well, the answer is mostly people who run websites or blogs and understand that if you have the toolbar installed your personal visits each day to your own sites will push them up in the Alexa rankings. Members of the general population have no reason to use the Alexa toolbar.
So the result is that Alexa rankings are influenced exclusively by people with a vested interest in creating the illusion that their website is in the top 100,000 even though in reality it may rank as 10 millionth.
We tested the Alexa toolbar for a year and were deeply disappointed by the inaccuracy of results for our own websites. For example, we know with certainty from accurate traffic logs that site A has five times the volume of traffic of site B. Yet A will be ranked by Alexa as trailing B in traffic by a wide margin of 50K or 100K spots.
If you want additional proof that Alexa is a deeply flawed tool, try this two-step test:
1. install the Alexa toolbar and watch your site(s) climb in its ranking for the next month or two.
2. After 60 days uninstall the Alexa toolbar and then watch your sites plummet in its rankings.
The only thing that keeps people interested in Alexa is vanity. If you can’t get real traffic, you can just install the toolbar and then brag how your blog broke into the Alexa Top 100,000.