How Does Alexa Collect Data

How-Does-Alexa-Collect-Data



It never happened in the history of Alexa ranking from 1996. As 2018 started, the auto-generated a system of Alexa, which shows the ranking of websites through an auto-generated mechanism, exposed. 

Before going into depth this article, it is necessary to describe a short introduction of Alexa. 

Alexa is a California based company founded on April 1, 1996. It provides the information and metrics about websites traffic and analytics. 

Although it has many other functions like you can build a website using Alexa, but it is known as a ranking tool for websites. You can easily check the global and local rank of any website, either owned by you or not. You have to simply put the domain and see the ranking. 

It also provides the metrics about website traffic like traffic stats coming from different countries, keywords which send traffic to your site, a number of visitors engaged on your site, traffic coming from search engine and total sites linking etc. This all information is provided for free but it is a rough estimate. 

It has also its premium package from where you can get the certified and accurate metrics about your site. Alexa was a global favorite measuring traffic tool since from it’s starting i.e. 1996. 

But when 2018 started, Alexa ranking of more than 95% websites decreased. This change was not only to the extent of lowest ranking websites, but it also affected the top websites of the world. Facebook, which was on the 2nd number after Google, now reached at No: 3 and Twitter was at No: 9, but after in April 2018, it reached at serial No: 10. 

It is very interesting that despite increasing the number of traffic from search engine, even then the ranking of websites went back. 

Everyone knows that the number of Facebook users are increasing in millions in every coming day, then why its ranking went back i.e. from No. 2 to No. 3. There are many such questions which are in our minds and we want clarity on this subject from Alexa. But before those questions, let’s know that how Alexa collect data and ranks the website. 

How Alexa Collect Data?


Alexa collect the data to ranks the website. This data is provided by a user in Alexa’s global data panel over a rolling of three months period. 

The Alexa ranking of a website based upon the combined analytics of daily page views and number of unique visitors. Daily pageviews are a total number of Alexa users which requests for a URL while unique visitors are a number of Alexa users which visit a site on a given day. 

Don’t take our words guaranteed, but here a snapshot of Alexa official support page is given where they mentioned that how Alexa collect data and ranks a site? 

Alexa-Drop-Rank

In addition, Alexa says that it doesn’t exist but with the help of Alexa Toolbar community. It means that Alexa toolbar has also its role in an increase or decrease the site rankings. You can use Firefox and Google Chrome to install Alexa extensions on your desktop computer and laptop. By this, you can get the valuable information like site ranking, backlinks and other site analytics. Here a snapshot of Alexa toolbar.

Alexa-Rank-Drop


Analysis of This Alexa Collecting Data Procedure


Now compare these two official statements of Alexa. 

Alexa says that a site ranking is the result of the combined measure of unique visitors and page views. According to Alexa, page views are the total number of a user URL request for a site, while unique visitors are the Alexa users who visit a site in a day or at given time. 

Alexa also says that if a user installs an Alexa extension on Firefox, Chrome and IE toolbars, he can get all the valuable information. 

This shows that Alexa is a plug-in for Chrome and Firefox. These official statements are clearly showing that if a user installs Alexa extension on his chrome or Firefox, each time he will navigate a site, this navigation will be count and will be used in Alexa ranking. 

It means that if the user has not installed Alexa chrome extension but he visit his site, it will be not counted in his ranking. This is the dual behavior of Alexa with websites. 

Firefox 29 Update Removed Alexa Toolbar


Alexa on its official page said that “Alexa could not exist without the participation of the Alexa Toolbar community”. Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and IE, you can use the Alexa toolbar. 

But recently Firefox 29 update removed the Alexa toolbar, resultantly the Alexa ranking of sites, which installed Alexa toolbar, decreased. When Alexa toolbar removed, the number of visits also decreased, page views decreased, so it was one of the reasons of drop ranking in 2018. 

Search Engine Traffic Increased but Alexa Ranking Decreased


The traffic coming from search engine to any website is the real traffic which has a great impact on CPC and ranking of a website. Alexa system also counts this factor it in the ranking of a website. 

It is very interesting and also beyond our wisdom that traffic coming from search engine increasing day by day, but Alexa ranking decreased. See this image which is clearly showing that search engine traffic is growing but despite this fact, Alexa ranking went back of 12K digits. 

Alexa-Rank-Drop


It is clearly evident from the Alexa graph that in May 2018, the percentage of visits coming from search engine continuously growing, even increased more than 42%. 

It is surprising that search engine traffic to our site increased (showed by itself Alexa) while site ranking decreased. This is how I am not satisfied with the Alexa ranking system. 

There is another amazing point that in the last two months, our site’s link doubled and tripled. In March 2018, site links were less than hundreds, but now in May 2018, site links are 240. This was a very fast growth and it was all natural. We didn’t purchase even a single backlink. 

Alexa-Drop-Rank

Despite 2x growth in site backlinks, the Alexa ranking badly affected and decreased 12K. In the first week of April 2018, it was at 1,27,000 but now at the end of May 2018, it reached 1,42,000. Search engine traffic, page views, visits and number of unique backlinks, all factors increased 2x and 3x but only Alexa ranking decreased. I have been totally failed to understand the reason for Alexa drop ranking. I am not convinced and satisfied whatever Alexa team explained in this regard. 

If We are Dropping, then Who is Rising


Google always makes changes in his algorithm with time to time to make its system more secure and efficient. This change is always good for webmasters because it makes the honest and original blogger prominent from the crowd of fraud and duplicate bloggers. 

Some bloggers spend their day and night to produce the unique, useful and constructive content, their AdSense actually works. But on the other side, some bloggers use black hat SEO tactics to manipulate the search engine ranking, resultantly their AdSense banned. But in the Alexa ranking system, it works opposite. 

There is a group which is using online automation tools to generate the content, clicks, and impressions and get the fake traffic and backlinks. But they use “Alexa boost up” to navigate their site, that’s why the rise and honest and hardworking blogger go back. This is a black side of Alexa room. 

After all this discussion, some questions raised in our mind, and we would like to ask from Alexa to clarify our confusion. 

Queries To Alexa:


  • When search engine traffic, unique backlinks, page views, number of visitors and social media traffic, all factors are going excellent and in progress, then why Alexa rank decreases? 
  • Alexa says that the ranking of websites based upon the page views and visits, but why, despite an increase in page views and visits, Alexa rank of website decreases?
  • When Alexa itself shows an increase in search engine traffic and a number of links of the site from another site, then why Alexa rank decreases? 
  • If Firefox removed the Alexa toolbar, why Alexa rank decreased? This shows that if any user installed Alexa toolbar, his site is automatically getting counts which include in the ranking of that site.
  • Why website of automation online tools user get high ranking while it is a clear black practice? 
  • Is there is any procedure in Alexa, to identify the blogger creating unique content and getting natural backlinks and bloggers using cheap and wrong practices to get backlinks? 
  • Is there any procedure in Alexa, to identify the content created using online generated tools? 
  • Is there any procedure in Alexa, to differentiate between original and fake bloggers? 


If there is no such system adopted by Alexa, then there is a great question mark on its website ranking procedure. 

I don’t’ know that there is any system Alexa has or not, but I conclude that you are an advertiser looking website and blog to advertise your product, then do not judge the website and blogs on the basis of Alexa ranking. You can check that either content is original or plagiarised and is it updated on daily basis? Alexa is not now more trustworthy and reliable to judge a website. 


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