It wasn’t until about a year into my Domaining career that I started to pay attention to Alexa Rank. When I first learned about Alexa I thought the number was meaningless and biased since a very particular demographic had the Alexa toolbar on their browser. Regardless, I saw people reference this more and more with domain sales so I installed the Alexa Toolbar also known as “Sparky” on my browser.
Before I knew it – I was hooked – every website I went to I just had to look at the Alexa rank. Over time it has become second-nature for me and a metric I use to evaluate my own sites. The important thing to realize about Alexa rank is that while it is biased – it does give you a good idea of the relative traffic a site receives. Especially when comparing blogs Alexa is a great way to get a feel for popularity. Here are a few examples:
Engadget.com – 499
ProBlogger.net – 2,468
ShoeMoney.com – 5,322
JohnChow.com – 5,814
TheDomains.com – 32,773
ChefPatrick.com – 38,591
RicksBlog.com – 55,524
Domainvestors.tv – 69,952
Conceptualist.com – 105,729
Fusible.com – 146,571
So what’s my point here? While the Alexa Rank won’t show me the exact traffic any of these blogs gets – I can tell you it does have a direct-relationship with how much traffic a blog gets. Engadget gets more traffic than ProBlogger which gets more traffic than ShoeMoney. ChefPatrick gets more traffic than me and I get more traffic than Fusible.
Thus Alexa can be an excellent tool for determining how your own sites are doing relative to other sites within their niche. Every time I visit a site now I can’t help but look at the Alexa rank and I’m glad I do because everytime I read a blog or find a new site I actually learn a bit about that site’s popularity within its niche and in comparison to my own niche.
When I re-launched my blog back in April of this year my Alexa rank went from 200,000 to over 16 million. It was depressing at first but it’s been incredible to watch it drop and then get below 100,000 which was my goal for 2009. Now that I’m below 70,000 I get that warm, fuzzy feeling every time I visit my blog. So while I wouldn’t use Alexa as the only means for evaluating a domain, it is a great way to get a feel for how much traffic a site gets relative to others within its niche.
Soon I’ll be writing a new series about how to lower your Alexa rank and I’ll have even more about this topic in my upcoming book (coming-out in mid-2010, no site yet!). Feel free to share your thoughts about Alexa and of course any Alexa success stories are welcome!