Top 6 Myths about the Alexa Traffic Rank

myths

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.

Greg Orelind

Greg is a Senior Product Manager at Alexa. When he’s not busy making Alexa’s products better, you can find him biking, hiking, and camping around California. This includes trading the standard commute for a scenic bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge every day. Greg holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Latest posts by Greg Orelind (see all)

About Greg Orelind

Greg is a Senior Product Manager at Alexa. When he’s not busy making Alexa’s products better, you can find him biking, hiking, and camping around California. This includes trading the standard commute for a scenic bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge every day. Greg holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

  • these myths are really true

  • Hi Greg..really I am sad,my Alexa drop..oh my god.

  • We like!

  • Awesome..great post I like it.

  • Enstine Muki

    This is clear now. Thanks for the clarifications Greg

  • Đức Nguyễn Minh
  • Completely agree with post….also feel that one should focus on enhancing website, creating valuable, good quality content and increasing site traffic rather than spending energy on increasing their site’s Alexa rank….the rank will surely improve if the other important things fall in place.

  • Finally a complete info on Alexa’s myths. All clear now!

  • Very good , Awesome..great post I like it.

  • good sir…. nys post

  • good post sir

  • loussaleem

    just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
    didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
    there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
    about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
    bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • devonhwindham

    just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
    didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
    there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
    about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
    bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • alphanostrum

    Why the rank of our sites falls since weeks is therefore not explained, but thanks for clarifying some misunderstandings.

  • I like the information, also such info coming from Horse’s mouth is nice.

  • Goksu Koksoy

    Very informative and well-written post, thank you

  • Patrick Welcome

    How do you prevent the “booster” sites from artificially inflating results

  • What are the top truths? 😉

  • Rebecca Murray

    Great info. I’d read that the widget helped to increase the rank, but it’s nice to hear straight from the source that it has nothing to do with the rank.

  • Viliamu Uso

    I have to disagree with Myth #6. I paid for the monthly subscription to see how it would affect my site rankings. Within 3 days my site went from 4,100,000 to around 78,000. It stayed in the 70,000 – 79,000 range for the entire month. I canceled my subscription at the end of the month. Within 2 days my site dropped back to 3,500,000. It has been hovering at that range ever since. That’s crazy for Alexa to claim that 70,000 compared to 3,500,000 is an estimated site ranking.

  • Glad you found it useful! You can definitely re-post this article on your own site & link back to Alexa & our blog. Thanks!

    • Thanks Alexa and team. Totally the best!

    • Mary Ann Garson

      I agree with thi, although I applied all the myths, but doesn’t meani believe it, I dud for d pleasure of doing it, if my alexa rank increased that’s because my hard work paid off, I blog daily, low bounce rate, my visitors are engaged to my topic, my visitors were majority were moms, working 9_5 jobs, recently installed toolbar but rank increased that time already, I mentioned that to my blog it wasn’t about all thise myths made your rsnk increased, thanks for this confirmation.

    • Mary Ann Garson

      how to repost please, copy paste with your link? no idea yet, new to blogging

  • Nice resolve.

  • Hi, Alexa! This post is really good for me to get how tips or tricks work or do not. Therefore, i want to translate it in to my language. I wonder do you mind if i do that?

  • jordan

    hello,

    do u know if that have negative effect to alexa rank for users that visit website from mobile ?

    can alexa measured visitors that runs a website from facebook built-in browser ?

    thanks 🙂

    • Hi Jordan,

      Thanks so much for reaching out. Our traffic estimates and ranks are based on our panel of toolbar users by default. Since we do not offer a mobile version of our toolbars, mobile/app traffic is not included in our toolbar panel and will not be reported in the traffic estimates and ranks on the Site Overview page at: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/

      However it is possible to get your site’s mobile traffic directly measured with our Certified Site Metrics service. This service is available with all of our Pro plans: http://www.alexa.com/plans Sites with Certified Metrics can choose to have their ranks based on directly-measured data instead of data from our toolbar panel.

      For sites with Certified Metrics, we can measure traffic from sites on Facebook’s built-in browser.

      Best,
      Alexa Team

      • jordan

        Hello,,,

        thanks for your response….one question more please.

        Is there any possibility my estimated metrics to be better than Certify metrics ?

        thanks 🙂

        • Hi Jordan,

          Once you certify your site’s metrics, you can always choose to keep those certified metrics private and continue to publicly display your estimate metrics.

          Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

          Thanks again,
          Alexa Support

      • I if install the Alexa code in my website’s source code (without opting for a pro plan), will Alexa measure traffic from mobile devices?

      • Michael Hung

        From a mobile app developer’s perspective, how do we ensure the traffic from the app is counted? Ie. The app can access the site’s web services and directly load resources such as mp3 or links into YouTube, without loading any HTML/JScript.

  • nice post. thnx for this post

  • LOL, thousand of pro – bloggers are just fool’ed us by those myths especially that “Alexa widget and browser extension one”, thanks for the information.
    BTW alexa widget sometime comes handy, but it delays in reflecting up-to-date stats.

  • oh no….

    I’ve been fooled by those tips. I should read more about this before trusting any tips on internet. BTW thanks for enlightenment me, I’ll re-post this on my blog :D.

  • wilderhoodcontact

    Highly appreciated! Answered all my queries, at one place! Cheers!!!

  • Thanks! This is now clear to me. 😀

  • Brent Gourley

    My website still says, “We don’t have enough data to rank this website.” My website was claimed on Alexa April 14th (Almost 2 months).

  • Thanks for the myth list. I have been missing my goals and this list helps.

  • Good information about Alexa, will definitely put it to good use.

  • Fernando Schmidt

    Useful information, I´ll try to use it.
    .

  • theStii

    Hi. I’m interested to know, in case of backend cloud services like Parse, Kinvey etc, if any direct access to the developer dashboard (whose url contains the same domain name of their respective website ) and the following http requests during the developer-dashboard interaction are considered in the traffic used to calculate the rank.

    And what about any http request to their APIs which have the website domain name as part of the endpoint url as well?

    For both the questions I assume the user is using a browser with the Alexa toolbar or any other extension/plugin mentioned in Mith#1 answer.

    Thanks!

  • Lalit

    its valuable article

  • None of this is true, my website disappeared overnight. Other ranking sites are showing an increase in traffic as was Alexa. When I check it now I get
    We don’t have enough data to rank this website.
    If this is your website, sign up and get certified to get direct measurements of your site’s traffic. Get Certified

    “Claiming your site (which is a free service)”
    again not true
    7 days it is a free trial then it is

    Basic
    $9.99 per month
    only $9.99 per month

    up to

    Advanced

    $149 per month
    An advanced tool for marketers who want a playbook of opportunities to grow their business

    The only truth in all of this that it will not increase your traffic!

  • I see the post is nearly 18 months old but I would just like to add that from researching many SEO Blogs that a lot of the Bloggers are promoting to install the Alexa toolbar to boost their Alexa Rankings and then to visit their Blog again which in affect will increase their own Rankings, maybe if they read this post they would know that by Installing the Certification code would save them a lot of hassle 🙂

  • Thanks for this valuable post….its better for ranking solution and myth for my blog….

  • Amit Kumar

    thank u

  • I do all these things to improve alexa ranking but still didn’t get any effect

  • I do all those things which are you mention but still no affect on website

  • xmeans.com

    Myth #4: Installing an Alexa widget will improve your rank. ? Is it true?

  • Great article, you are truly mythbuster