Recently someone told me that Alexa was spyware. I asked them why they said this and they responded that this is what they heard from a friend. I directed them to the Alexa toolbar and they got a better idea how the service works. They said, oh, this is just like the Google Toolbar.

Alexa seems to be the best way to find out how much traffic a site gets without having to pay for the data. Google offers something similar but much less detailed in its PageRank number that is displayed on its toolbar. This is a rank between 1 and 10 and the bigger the number, the better. The New York Times ranks 10, CNN ranks 9 and the Wall Street Journal ranks 7. This number is the importance Google places on your site using its proprietary and ultra-confidential algorithms.

Using Google and Alexa seem to be an accurate measure of site popularity in many cases.

There are many times when someone will tell me they have an amazing site or amazing company and their Alexa ranking is nonexistent. Another important measure is Alexa rank in comparison to their competition. It is exponentially more difficult to get to the first spot on Alexa meaning that it is easier to be the 50,000th site on Alexa compared to 40,000, etc.

As a reference here are the ranks of some communications companies:


Alexa Rank (Lower is better)

Google PageRank










Alexa measures page views per user and unique visitors and multiplies these numbers to generate a rank. So if you have 1,000 unique people visiting your site and each person looks at 3 pages, this is better than 1,000 people looking at 2 pages. The lower the Alexa rank the better as you are closest to the most visited site on the web.

As a point of reference, here are the top rated English sites this morning according to Alexa:


Microsoft Network (MSN)




Microsoft Corporation

Google UK


We have noticed that TMCnet’s ranking roughly correlates to our internal traffic numbers.

As Alexa is comparative in nature we can’t accurately predict how Alexa will rank our site on a daily basis. We can guess within a fairly narrow range however.

One thing that is amazing is that the page views Alexa tells us we have per user is very close to what we have seen from our internal logs.

I am anxious to find other ways to measure popularity on the web so if you know of any sites that are similar to Alexa, please post your comments below.

  • VoIP Blog -
    January 21, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    TMCnet in Top 1,000 Sites in World!

    I had decided not to say anything about TMCnet’s Alexa ranking until we hit triple-digits. We set a few new records since our 1,151 daily record back on January 5 of this year but I wanted to keep quiet until…

  • Luiz
    January 26, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    It is sad to see that Alexa is considered by many “anti-spy” software packages as “spyware”. Because it is NOT!
    Anyone can verify with net sniffer that Alexa toolbar exposes just as much as Google toolbar and much less than internet explorer itself. I am using Alexa back from 1998 and I found it absolutely GREAT in the sense that it is the only alternative to Google page rank (PR) evaluation. Just as anyone else I hate the idea of monopoly in any aspect of human life. In this respect Alexa is the only way out of this as far as I can see in the current situation.
    Thank you for attention.

  • alexarankteam
    February 7, 2007 at 4:28 am

    To make your Alexa ranking ranks as you want within the first 10000 to 100.
    What is our principle?
    Confidential. We will not disclose any of your information to the third part without your permission.
    Secure. Nobody will know that we are working for you.
    Stable. We’ve got numbers of servers around the world which ensures a stable service..
    Free Trial. We provide you two days’ free trial, and you will only have to pay if it works well.
    Why you have to increase the Alexa rankings of your site?
    To attract more and quality clients.
    To get higher advertisement income.
    To be ready to trade on NASDAQ stock market.
    To have a good performance on NASDAQ.
    To increase the membership fee.
    To get the angel investment.
    To better promote your site.
    What you have to know about the Alexa ranking rules? There’s small possibility that the Alexa company changes the ranking rules totally, and the rank of your site may be influenced. In that case we will work to our best to adjust the technology accordingly to adapt the Alexa changes. Anyhow, to our years of experience there’s really very small possibility of this kind of changes.
    Two reasons may cause the fluctuation of your ranking
    It is normal that your site ranking drops down during holidays, like Christmas days.
    The Alexa changes the ranking rules totally. In that case the rank of some sites may increase and some may drop down dramatically. However, we will work to our best to adapt that change provided that we know it in advance.
    Some tips about the Alexa rank. There are two important data in Alexa ranking system. One is the daily rank . The other is the comprehensive rank . For example, if you want your site ranks within 500, we will make your site’s ranking listed within 500 everyday. And after 3 months, your site will be ranked within 500.
    Something about the free trial. We provide our customers with two days’ free trial and you have to pay $10 as a deposit. Your will get reimbursement if we do not reach your goal and the deposit will be charged as service fee when we start to serve for you.
    How to contact us
    Email: [email protected]
    MSN(Online Chat): [email protected]
    AIM(Online Chat): AlexaRankTeam
    Yahoo Messenger(Online Chat): [email protected]

  • tony
    June 28, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I hear from most of SEO that aleca lost its value.

  • Eric Gonzalez
    September 26, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    My 2 cents here.
    Page rank has nothing to do with traffic, but links to your site.
    Alexa rank is only important if you are planning on monetize your site. e.g. if you are going to sell links..
    Even directories with a good alexa rank(lower number) sometimes doesn’t really help you to get people to your site.
    Web optimization is the way to go if your goal is to atract people to your site. Page rank is good but is just one item of many used by google to determine relevancy of a site..

  • Toboc
    March 19, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Alexa rankings are calculated based on the data received from only those who have installed and use the Alexa toolbar in their browser. That means say if 100 people are using internet out of that only 30-40% are aware of this and have the toolbar installed.
    So don’t worry even if the rankings are less. I have my site perform well in search and link popularity. But the Alexa ranking is close to 70,000 these days. This is because those who are visiting my site may not have the toolbar installed in their browser.
    Visit the b2b portal if you feel free.

  • alyemani
    July 12, 2008 at 3:44 pm

  • George
    February 9, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Unfortunately, it yields very much not exact results. Based on the data ” Alexa toolbar “, and it depends on popularity Alexa toolbar.
    So if your site receives visitors from US and India, and ” Alexa toolbar ” is popular in India it will show a wrong estimation on the countries.

  • paramjitbali
    August 15, 2009 at 6:36 am


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