A rain dance? Homage to the patron saint of Alexa rankings? While these may be fun, they’re just as ineffective at improving your rank as many commonly held misconceptions about the Alexa Traffic Rank. Our ranking system was first introduced in 1998 and, like many things that have been around for a while, several myths have built up around it. What follows is a bit of myth-busting as well as a few pointers about how you can actually improve your rank.
Myth #1: Alexa only measures traffic from people who have installed the Alexa toolbar.
Not true! Alexa’s measurement panel is based on a very large and diverse set of browser extensions and plug-ins. The Alexa Toolbar is just one of many browser extensions that include Alexa data. And, for sites that have installed the Alexa Certify code, Alexa directly measures traffic from all visitors to the website whether or not they have a browser extension installed.
Myth #2: Alexa only measures Internet marketers and site owners.
This is related to myth #1. Also, not true! Alexa’s traffic panel is based on millions of people using over 25,000 different browser extensions that appeal to a wide audience.
Myth #3: Claiming my site affects its rank.
Claiming your site has no effect on rank and you don’t need to claim your site to get measured by Alexa. Claiming your site (which is a free service) and keeping your site description and contact information up-to-date ensures you won’t miss out on any potential business opportunities from the millions of people who visit Alexa every month.
Myth #4: Installing an Alexa widget will improve your rank.
No, the Alexa rank widgets allow you to promote your site’s rank to your site’s visitors. The widgets are not used to measure a site’s traffic.
Myth #5: If my site’s traffic goes up on a particular day, my rank will automatically get better.
Not necessarily. The global Alexa Rank is updated daily, but it is based on visitors to your website over the trailing 3 months. So, a day’s worth of traffic is about 1/90th of all the traffic used to rank your site. Also, a site’s rank is relative to other sites. So, changes in traffic to other sites affects your site’s rank as well.
Myth #6: If I pay Alexa I can get a better rank.
Nope. Though it is true that Alexa’s Marketing Stack can help you discover opportunities to get more traffic to your website, which might in turn lead to a better rank. And, if you install the Alexa Certify Code on your website Alexa can directly measure your site’s traffic instead of estimating it. Direct measurement will give your site a more accurate rank, but more accurate does not necessarily mean a better rank.