Alexa Sucks and I Think You Will Agree

Written by Jason Katzenback on September 9th, 2008

Yes I realize that you have probably heard this before but I need to get this off my chest. In fact there was a great post (which goes into way more detail then I do here) about this issue over at Daily Blog Tips (which is a great blog) a post called Alexa is Becoming Completely Worthless

First of all I want you to look at this…

What this graph represents is the Alexa demise of..

Now, the question comes up.. IS THIS TRUE???

Sorry but it is not and in fact it is complete garbage and is misleading people like crazy.

Now I realize that there is no perfect system out there.. and perhaps the only thing close to that is using an analytics system like Google Analytics.. however, even that is not perfect and is not publicaly viewable.

The problem with making Google Analytics publicly viewable is it gives away a lot of data that is gold for competitors.

Google Trends is good but it is updated far too irregularly. Speaking of trends…

They show the opposite of Alexa and a pretty steady picture for most… and if you look at the bottom you can see good ole johncow is actually growing a lot.

So could that be right.. could Alexa be completely screwed up???

Well lets look at another on..

Well I’ll be… it shows a significant growth in traffic % for all sites still?

OK, so the reason I did this is because the traffic subscribers and income of Johncow is growing great but yet Alexa is telling a different story, which is extremely frustrating. So I decided that I would contact Alexa and explain the situation for clarification. I also wanted to give them a clear example of how I think it is extremely screwed up because another site that I own has seen way less traffic and yet Alexa is growing???

  • A –> In June of 2008 was averaging 950 unique visitors a day and Johncow was averaging 2234.37
  • B –> The end of August 2008 ArticleFeeder was averaging 1102 unique visitors a day and Johncow was averaging 2922.68 unique visitors a day.

That is a 25% increase in traffic in just a couple months… which is not bad.

Yet according to Alexa, Articlefeeder is getting way more traffic?

The main frustration I have with all this is that so many people tie Alexa into a sites authority and many advertisers use Alexa as a starting point.

The response I got from Alexa was a perfectly stated “political sounding” answer. In a nut shell it politely said that “we are right and I do not care what you say”.

So… all in all I have to say.. THAT SUCKS

So whats the point of this here message?

1. Alexa rating suck more then ever.

2. Do not believe everything you read… obviously this is an example of proven results versus third party estimations. Go with what you have proven to work for yourself and not what others are guessing works.

So what is Alexa been saying about you as of late?

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45 Responses to “Alexa Sucks and I Think You Will Agree”

  1. John Cow dot ComAlexa Sucks and I Think You Will AgreePosted: 09 Sep 2008 04:15 PM CDT

  2. Is Internet Marketing Just Another Fools Gold Rush?, by Yaro Starak from 2) How To Get Follow .EDU and .GOV Backlinks, a guest post on The University Kid by Big Ben Patton. 3)Alexa Sucks and I Think You Will Agree, by John Cow. 4) Work From Home Jobs/Work At Home Jobs, by Day Job Nuker. 5) A Warning For Ebay Partner Network Affiliates, by Affiliate Watcher. Flimjo Love I’m at #250 on 45n5’s list of the

  3. Hugo Santos says:

    bahh i have a better alexa rank than you hahaha take that! lol im just kidding man.
    This to say that alexa is a very poor measurement tool. i only like it to brag my self. lol take my example. my blog as a rank of 111,113, and this has a rank of 182,604. I get 100 uniques a day you get over 2000… this says it all right?

    I am enjoying compete rank. i have been watching it for about a year, but just recently giving it the deserved credit.

    Hugo Santoss last blog post..Monday Link Love

  4. Costa Rica says:

    Hmm! We’re still not better than… but at the rate Alexa is going we will outrank you in 3 months – kidding!

  5. Andre Thomas says:

    I’ve been aware of the problem for a long time so I’ve never really cared when somebody shows off their alexa ranking. It’s completely false yet people take it as a factor when they are considering to buy a website.

    Andre Thomass last blog post..The True Secret To Big Traffic

  6. Ryan McLean says:

    I did not realise there were so many problems with Alexa. So many people try so hard to get in the top 100,000 and above and yet it can screw you over by the looks of it.
    Bummer. I will still use it for my site and hope for the best

  7. Nice post John, I was thinking that something was wrong with some of those rankings. Now I have more info, thanks

  8. Bryan says:

    Although my blog is much smaller in stature than John Cow, it’s been slammed by Alexa. In June, I finally broke into the 100ks and after record months of traffic in July and August I’ve fallen to over 270k.

    Alexa sucks!

  9. Yes, it sucks, I agree. But the sad realization is that so many people/companies rely on it as a basis for seeing how popular your website is.

    Quitting The Day Jobs last blog post..Building A Better Site – Concept

  10. This article is truly troubling. Advertisers rely on Alexa to gauge how much they’re willing to pay a site owner. This directly impacts the level of income a site makes. If what you say is true, that Alexa is ignoring the issue, then we should start a movement to discredit Alexa. This is Web 2.0 after all and a passionate movement like this can destroy Alexa within a couple of days.

    What do you guys think?

    Tycoon Dreamers last blog post..Newly Minted Tycoons of the Green Revolution

  11. Zax Stevens says:

    Yes Alexa does suck. Most so called “web” rating tools do, most likely the varied updating for live stats and what not. Funny thing, the old basic Awstats plugin seems to always give the right accurate info, fairly live.

  12. Darren says:

    Yeah – they’ve been off for years and I’ve stopped really looking at them or any other metric like them. Like you say – none are perfect.

    Actually – for th efirst time in ages I checked Compete and they are way off for my two sites.

    for example –

    that shows ProBlogger as being twice as big as Digital Photography School but DPS in July and August did over a million visitors – double what ProBlogger does. At east comparing those two Alexa has DPS slightly in front of PB.

    Darrens last blog post..I’m selling a New Macbook Air

    • John Cow says:

      I agree… any statistics will be greatly flawed when it is using assumptions. Unless you have code on your site to provide data, then the systems are going to be quessing and nothing else.

  13. km says:

    Ya Alexa Suck.. But a lot of people using alexa stat to determine your website value. :wink:

    kms last blog post..Free Comodo AntiVirus 2.0 Download For Commercial User Without License Forever

  14. Alexa is nothing more than a bad idea executed poorly. Just the fact that it exists causes confusion (to advertisers) and headaches (to webmasters).

    I have 2 sites that average over 12,000 visitors each daily that rank way behind my blog which is lucky if it sees 200 uniques a day. Once advertisers take the plunge and get to see some real stats themselves (ad impressions) they are happy, the real problem is getting them to advertise in the first place. The problem wouldn’t exist if Alexa didn’t exist either.

  15. [...] John Cow, we recently gave a facelift to his blog, reverberates what everyone knows but will not admit – Alexa SUCKS!! [...]

  16. soares says:

    Maybe most of the guys care about it…i dont so like hugo said its only to brag about

    Regards :twisted:

    soaress last blog post..Os melhores wallpapers para o seu computador

  17. Allyn says:

    I think it is dangerous for a site like that to hold so much weight in the real world.
    Especially when they are “draped in mystery” as Alexa seems to be. I mean, who the heck is this chick, Alexa, and can she dance?

    Allyns last blog post..Preventing Deer Damage and Deer Browsing in Your Landscape

  18. Tom says:

    I did not realize that there was so much discrepancy on Alexa. It’s always to good to have a couple of different measurements to go by and this is a perfect example.


  19. selif says:

    As ranking systems go, what do you think about things like RealRank that Izea (pay per post) introduced last year?

  20. Denis says:

    You can use QuantCast (become a quantified publisher) to view and show to others correct statistics without giving away crucial data such as search keywords for example. It’s almost as precise as Google Analytics.

    Deniss last blog post..Rocky Patel Decade Lonsdale

  21. Mike Huang says:

    I think no matter what, Alexa will dominate the minds of all of us. LOL. I believe it’s the first system that provides these type of graphs for people to check. This is why people depend on it.


  22. tunepal says:

    i agree. But nothing we can do, we depend too much to pagenkra and alexa rank todays. :twisted:

  23. KushMoney says:

    Alexa rank always suck. If you a person like myself you can play with the alexa rank like a yoyo :twisted:

  24. ohiit says:

    It all depends on whether you know Alexa suck or not if you know how Alexa system works. But there are no reliable info to back this claim up so I am not sure whether you are just speculating based on your observation. But it is not just enough unless you can elaborate on that in-depth.

    Everything on the internet is not reliable unless everyone is widely read or if you want to know much ask Alexa website owner who is the coder behind all this about how it works before posting on whether it is a fact or a myth. It might just help.

    Just like you say there is no perfect system out there. Yes true indeed. But every site is aiming for improvement not perfection. :razz:

  25. car blog says:

    I am using Alexa to compare my sites..
    Is it really sucks??

  26. johan says:

    I have been hearing problem with Alexa for a while now. And I guess Alexa is going to loose it credibility soon if this still not rectify.

  27. cuzzy says:

    So if so many people think it is bogus, why does the industry think it is valuable?

    there must be something to it or it would not be used.

    I personally love my alexa ranking.

    cuzzys last blog post..Anyone worried about Tom Brady getting fat?

  28. Steve v4.7 says:

    These metrics have become an addiction. It’s hard for me not to look at them all and marvel at their control over my self worth. Shit, who am I kidding? I have a blog because it’s fun. You’re right though, they all kind of suck in their own way and I still can’t correlate Alexa to any other provider. Keep up the great content.

    Steve v4.7s last blog post..(Day 477 / -154 +/- ? lbs.) Aesop? Say Hello To My Little Friend, Grimm

  29. Dave says:

    It all depends on how you see it. Alexa is good for your if the data they provide cast a good vibe for your site and its bad for you if the data they provide cast a bad image for your site. Advertisers and sometimes visitors as well likes data that shows you have a large visitors to your site and Alexa is one of many sources that provide that information. Alexa is not prefect, then again nothing in this world is perfect, but it does provide a general picture on how many visitors are visiting a site.

  30. Normal Joe says:

    Well that sucks! I thought alexa was pretty cool until I started noticing sites like yours dropping, then I knew…it’s full of…..something.

    Does it only count those with the alexa bar installed?

    Normal Joes last blog post..How To Reach Success Through Teamwork And Having The Right Friends

    • John Cow says:

      Actually rumour has it that it looks like the do not count repeat visitors at all. And so even if you visited two times 2 weeks apart… you only get counted once.

  31. kdpem says:

    They should count repeats, that’s the best kind of traffic to have. Sounds like a better algorithm is in order over there. Even the advertiser is better off with repeats.

    kdpems last blog post..RVs, The Green Machine

  32. Outtanames999 says:

    Somebody should talk to top management over there at Alexa or Amazon which owns it and find out what is going on, what their goals are, and what they represent the accuracy to be. Last I heard, the recognized that their toolbar users were heavily skewed toward Korean users’ activity.

  33. Mike Lau says:

    Alexa ranking only dropped for those webmaster/tech/seo/sem, etc. related sites as they are using more methods in tracking their metrics. Before, the ranking were more or less based on the toolbar now they are using other ways in determining ranking.

    That is why webmaster/seo/etc. sites went down and other sites (entertainment, lifestyle, finance, etc.) generally went up.

    I still think webmaster/tech/seo/sem ranking is too high by few multiples. If or are in the 20,000 ranking, then it should be around 100,000 ranking. Do you really think or are the most 20,000th popular sites in the internet. I don’t think so.

    Alexa is becoming more accurate but it is still off. Once it becomes more accurate, all of the webmaster/seo/tech based sites will go further down. Including my sites.

  34. [...] Your page is on StumbleUpon [...]

  35. :roll: i just wonder to find the way increasing my alexa rank. i have a poor alexa rank. :shock:

    trumank girlss last blog post..Create a relaxation lamp

  36. NO. YOU SUCK!!!

    Should I tell you why? You actually care what other people think about your site.

    Abdalla Ahmeds last blog post..Advancing Your Radio Experience With Clarity

  37. [...] ) however my Google Analytics shows I am receiving record traffic to Johncow. [...]

  38. [...] Alexa Data – Waste of Time! [ Adrian Bold ] [ 19-Sep-08 8:58am ]Hi Daniel Take a look at this ‘Alexa Sucks’ post from another site with some evidence to support the claim. Traffic estimating is difficult [...]

  39. indochip says:

    Ya.. saya sangat setuju…