Thursday, August 05, 2010

Slow and Steady...

During a recent meeting with a colleague the topic of Alexa rankings came up. Alexa estimates the popularity of websites and over the years has become a resource for quickly gauging the success of most websites around the world.

To be honest, I had not looked at the Fast Pitch! Alexa rankings in over a year. Here's why:
  1. Alexa's data gathering process is flawed and based on an extremely limited sampling of people who have downloaded the Alexa Toolbar (for the record, I do not know a single person who has downloaded the Alexa Toolbar. Do you?).
  2. We measure our own traffic internally anyway, and know exactly how we're doing, where the traffic is coming from, etc.
  3. We don't rely on advertising for business, so perceived traffic to the outside world isn't all that critical to our business. Most of our growth happens through referrals.
  4. Alexa rankings can be easily manipulated. I won't say names, but it's happening more than advertisers realize.
  5. DHTML style click thru's aren't recognized by Alexa. That's at least 50% of our traffic.
Nonetheless, after the conversation, I figured it was time to re-visit Alexa and see how they had us ranked these days. It had been almost a year to the day that we rolled out the latest version to our website (which now includes lots of DHTML).
As expected, most of the page view data was off which subsequently affects our overall rankings in the world (currently 14,000th in the U.S.). But as I mentioned that's not really important to us.
On a positive note, what was nice to see was the gradual upward trending of our graph - which does reflect our own internal numbers. I'm still not sold on Alexa as true measure of a website, but I am pleased to see that they are capturing the essence of our overall growth. It's a good trend. Remember, slow and steady wins the race... :)

Bill

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