Above: When Squiddy Meets Alexa
There has always been a great debate over the credibility of using the Alexa Toolbar as a viable tool to gauge your website’s authority and ability to rank high on search engines. Some say Alexa’s algorithms that designate your website rank completely miss the mark on what’s important in a website and others make their Alexa ranking a daily exploration. So what is it? Is your website’s Alexa ranking a viable tool to measure your website’s success? And, if it is, what is it about the Alexa Toolbar that can help you in the long run.
Before I answer this, go ahead and head over to alexa.com and download the toolbar for your particular browser. If you’re a Safari user you’re SOL as they don’t yet have a toolbar for Safari. This is an easy fix, though… just stop using Safari. Use Chrome or Firefox; they both have many user advantages over Safari plus you can use the Alexa Toolbar.
When you browse the internet, your Alexa Toolbar will rank the website you happen to be on. This ranking will appear on all websites you browse and it gives you a good indication of how active any particular website is. Now go to your website and find out what your ranking is.
When the toolbar displays your ranking you can click on the ranking and see all kinds of useful stats about your site. The closer your ranking is to #1, which is currently Google or Facebook, the better. For example: as of today www.bluesquidmedia.com is ranked a little under 150,000 out of all websites in the world. This is pretty impressive considering the rankings go up to 30 million in number form out of a total of just under 700 million websites. WOW! This puts us in the top 99.98 percent of websites that exist. We’re the king of the world! uh, nah… but I’ll get back to this in a bit.
If your website ranks over 30 million you will get a ranking of “no rank.” This means that, in the eyes of Alexa, your website pretty much does not exist or is in the woods on rankability. Websites that have a “no rank” ranking will usually rank high for the business name associated with that website but not much after that. A “no rank” ranking likely means, for all practical purposes, you’ve given up on your website.
So what does it mean that my company’s website ranks in the Top 150,000 of all websites and is in the Top 99.97 percent? NOTHING. NADA. ZILCH. It won’t magically make leads appear or customers show up at our office with money in their hands. It’s just a number relative to everyone else with a website.
It’s always fun to rank somewhere and the Alexa Toolbar is no exception but your Alexa ranking is not the be all/end all to website rankings. What your Alexa ranking is is a ranking on how active and important your website is to you. For those companies that manage their website and update often the Alexa ranking is going to look pretty good. For those of you that neglect your website and don’t make it a priority you’re not going to do so hot and, possibly, fall off the map altogether.
A higher ranking is not going to affect the amount of revenue your company generates whatsoever but it does give an indication of how often you update your website. Whenever a company contacts us for a marketing assessment we do some preliminary research on the company before we make that first contact and one of the items we take a look at is the Alexa website ranking for that particular company.
Here is what your company’s Alexa ranking tells us:
- A roundabout estimate as to how often you update your current website.
- A roundabout estimate of how much time you’ve contributed to your website over the past 3 months.
- A roundabout estimate of how authoritative your website is.
That’s about it. Other than that it’s pretty much irrelevant. Oh… we’ll also check the Alexa rankings of some of your competitor’s websites to see who is leveraging the power of the internet in your industry.
So should you lose sleep over how bad your Alexa ranking is or, on the flip side, should you brag about your Alexa ranking? Neither. You can show an impressive improvement in your Alexa ranking rather quickly by contributing time every day to simply putting more relevant content on your website. Just blog every other day and you’ll improve your ranking, in some instances, by 95%. But keep in mind that your Alexa ranking is a lot like losing weight. You can do the work to make the pounds disappear but the secret to begin healthy is making a lifestyle change to keep the weight off. The same goes for your website… you can blog like a madman/woman for thirty days straight and burn yourself out but if you stop doing it suddenly you will see your ranking take a turn for the worse. Devote at least 30 minutes to an hour a day to your website and you’ll be an Alexa beast. For every day that your website moves closer to #1 pat yourself on the back.
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