How Alexa Ranks Are Like SAT Scores

If you grew up in the US there’s a good chance you took the SATs. This also signals an entire year where everyone asks you about your score and this one little number suddenly becomes very meaningful. Of course Universities use a lot more criteria than just SAT scores since they know that some people just aren’t great at taking the SATs.

The truth is that an SAT score really just tells you if you are good at taking the SAT test itself. There are plenty of brilliant people that don’t do well on the SAT and they are still incredibly smart people. Here’s the thing though, while you can still be smart and do poorly on the SATs, most of the people with good SAT scores also happen to be pretty darn smart. Look at people in the 90th percentile and higher and you’re going to find some truly intelligent people, however the reverse is not true. Looking at low SAT scores doesn’t mean those people are idiots, they’re just not great at the SATs.

The same is true with Alexa Rank. The Alexa Rank gives you an idea of how many people visit your site that are using the Alexa toolbar. People that write about web development or SEO tend to have a nice advantage since more of their visitors have the Alexa toolbar installed. There are some great sites that get plenty of traffic that have relatively high Alexa ranks, not because they don’t get a lot of traffic, but because most of their visitors aren’t using the Alexa toolbar.

However, just like the SATs, sites with low Alexa ranks definitely get great traffic. Site with an Alexa score below 100K are definitely doing something right, and get below 1,000 and you’re talking about one of the top sites on the net.

So why does this matter? Is Alexa rank important? Well, much like SAT scores, it is important to understand what an Alexa rank means. I know there are a lot of people who read my blog that are just starting to dip their toe into the development world. Hopefully this analogy makes Alexa make a bit more sense, but like the SATs may you only focus on these for a year tops before you realize that there’s a lot more that matters!

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