Alexa Rankings are Nonsense

Updated 20-Sep-2023

I want to caution everyone on Alexa rankings. I just put several clients and inhouse projects into Alexa to see what I could see. The ranking numbers have no relation to reality, either in terms of search traffic or in terms of overall traffic.

Alexa Rankings have Zero Relevance

I see some sites with 7,000 visits/month of quality traffic ranked well over 1 million and other sites with 2,000 visits/month of quality traffic ranked around 250,000. There is also a site with 150,000 visits/month ranked at the same 250,000 mark. And another site with 3,000 visits/month in quality ranked nearly 2,000,000. Another two examples: a site with nearly 1,000 visits/month is ranked 10 million, whereas a site with around 350 visits/month is ranked 6 million.

The Mesmerizing Nature of Rank Order Numbers

I know Alexa is a popular way of tracking, because it gives a ranked number. But it is completely bogus in terms of evaluating popularity, traffic of any particular nature, or quality level of the particular site. Perhaps when looking at the top 100 or 1,000 sites it has greater relevance, but the vast majority (99.99%) of sites cannot be evaluated this way. And perhaps if someone is actually giving Alexa the information, it would be somewhat accurate.

What to Focus On

The thing to focus on instead is business metrics: visitors, leads, customers and costs per each for each channel, and to develop a reasonable marketing mix. Relevant content is the real winning investment to make, and optimized advertising campaigns and social media engagement are the tactics we use to build quality traffic over time. Also, to make small experiments to look for new markets, market needs, as well as to see what the competition is doing.