Alexa is a web search company owned by Amazon. Alexa’s main function is to measure web site traffic. The company has created the popular Alexa Toolbar which it uses to gauge the popularity of a web site. In fact, it is even used by some webmasters and SEO “experts”.
However, not everyone is so enamoured with Alexa rankings. In fact, for the past 8 years, there has been an ongoing argument about how much stock to place in these rankings.
John Chow tackles this issue on his blog. Here is a portion of his argument:
The main problem with Alexa is its rankings are based on users who have installed the Alexa toolbar onto their browser. If you do not have the toolbar running, you do not affect the rankings of the sites you visit. The next big problem with Alexa is it is very easy to cheat the system. Just get a few friends to install the toolbar and have them surf your site everyday. It does not take many people to break into the top 100,000. You can even do it all by yourself by refreshing your site over and over again. Get a dozen friends to do it and you’re break into top 20,000 easily.
As he explains, it is very easy to manipulate the rankings. Until Alexa addresses the ways to manipulate the rankings, the only people that will place stock in Alexa rankings are going to be the SEO uneducated. There are even companies that manipulate Alexa rankings as a service. So, the next time an SEO company promises to get your site high Alexa rankings, keep in mind how easy it is and how useless those “results” will be to your companies bottom line.