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Your site's Alexa Rank is a simple number representing the popularity of your website when compared to all other live websites. It does not measure your site's rank within your own industry, although you can make these comparisons yourself by checking the ranks of other sites. Most small businesses will find that their websites' Alexa Ranks are in very high numbers, meaning low popularity in comparison to other sites, but this is not a cause for concern. Consider that your Alexa Rank compares your website to the entire internet, which is home to over 1.7 billion websites! That's why Alexa Rank is best used as a benchmarking tool to help identify your site's rate of growth — as your business grows and you earn more traffic, your rank will increase.
If you want to see the top-ranked sites, Alexa.com maintains a live list of website rankings you can view globally or filter by country or category. Currently, all the top global spots are taken by huge companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Netflix, and several staple Chinese websites. All users can see the first 50 results with the complete list available to premium accounts.
According to Alexa.com, “The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources, and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach).”
This is to say that the ranking is calculated using a proprietary methodology that combines a site's estimated average of daily unique visitors and its estimated number of pageviews over the past 3 months. Alexa mines it data from millions of users around the web who uses a toolbar provided by the company.
The Alexa toolbar is available through browser extensions on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, as well as through Alexa’s website.
For Alexa to be able to get these statistics, users must install the Alexa toolbar on their browser.
Given that it is not EVERY single Internet user (ever) that installs and uses the toolbar, most people tend to not weigh Alexa Rank very heavily. Alexa itself even admits that “Alexa's traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel which is a sample of all internet users.”
However, the data Alexa provides can help you in most cases to have a “general” idea of how popular a website is, hence the reason it is still considered useful. But then, why check for such data? What do you need it for? Let's discuss that next.
Like Alexa puts it, you get to know “how well a website is doing relative to all other sites on the web over the last 3 months.”
Here are four key things you can do with the data from Alexa Rank:
Now that you know what to do with the data from Alexa Rank, let's talk about actually checking your Alexa Rank.