Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
- C is the new assembly
- Java is the new COBOL
- SQL is the new HTML
- Ruby is the new PHP
Thursday, October 18, 2007
If you have about a minute and a half, take this brief survey and tell me what's on the top of your Alexa wish list:
Friday, October 05, 2007
Fewer noticed that Hi5 and Baidu switched places. This would have happened sooner, except for August 30th. What happened that day? In some Latin American countries it's the Feast of Saint Rose of Lima. It's no coincidence that August 30th is a national holiday in Peru, from which Hi5 gets 12% of its users. So is it fair to compare the two when Baidu gets 90% of its users from China? It depends on what you're looking for.
For instance, youtube.com (currently at #4) get's 13% of its users from the US whereas Google's .com gets 26% of its users from the US. Compare this with myspace.com, which is globally at #6 but gets 45% of its users from the US where it is currently #3. These demographics are almost certainly important when making business decisions, which is why Alexa produces top sites lists for countries, languages, and categories.
Taking a look at our current Top 10, we have
If it's hard to imagine that the US could have such a big impact on a site that gets most of its reach from Brazil, consider what would happen if a small number of users who were responsible for a greater-than-average number of pageturns suddenly disappeared. The demographic would not significantly change even though there was a significant impact to traffic. I suspect that many Americans (responsible for an more than their fair share of hits on that site) went to BBQs that weekend, realized the people at the party were on other networks, and made the switch. Is it significant that Facebook, which gets 30% of its users from the US, had a drop in unique users that Friday with a less-than-proportional drop in pageviews the same day?
So what's the point? Fundamentally: Alexa ranks websites, not companies. In the global Top 10, Microsoft takes two spots and Google takes three. This traffic can only be properly understood by taking global demographics into account. Finally, a site's rank is dependent on its traffic in relation to other sites. That is, your site's rank can change even if your traffic does not --- or visa-versa --- due to relative traffic changes on other sites with similar rank.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Looking at the Google Trends graph next to an Alexa Traffic Graph (reach) for xbox.com, playstation.com, and wii.com, you can see mostly the same trends. In 2005-Q4, the Xbox is clearly the winner in both searches and traffic, for very good reason: of the three, it was the only one actually available. The traffic for “Playstation 3” correlates to the Tokyo Game Show, at which several games for the (then non-functional) system were demoed. The name “Wii” was only officially announced in 2006-Q2, which shows up as a bump in searches, at flag A. This does not translate into traffic for wii.com because the domain was parked until at least July of that year, which can be verified by taking a look at the Wayback Machine.
All three consoles have search and traffic surges in 2006-Q4; since then, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have been neck-and-neck in both traffic and searches, though their reach appears to be increasing. Wii, however, has remained level, after the initial peak. If you compare wii.com and nintendo.com, the name announcement and the console launch are both clearly visible. In actuality, the news volume (which is down) more closely resembles the traffic for Nintendo (and Wii) than the number of searches. So the question becomes: what will happen to Wii this winter? Is it just a late bloomer?