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What is Alexa traffic rank and how to get the Alexa toolbar

Alexa analyzes web usage from traffic data sources including their own Alexa Toolbar users to eventually create traffic rankings for websites. This essentially determines how popular a website is. Even though these scores are highly respected in certain circles, the traffic data isn’t a representative sample of the global internet population, but an extensive variety of statistics taken from Alexa Toolbar users.

Another point to remember is that sites with relative low traffic will not be accurately ranked by Alexa as it is difficult to ascertain the correct figure from sites with fewer than 1000 visitors. However the scores are beneficial when comparing similar websites, moreover 6,000,000 people do visit Alexa each month, which is not a number to be sniffed at.

What is Alexa traffic rank

The Alexa traffic rank is taken over three months from traffic data of millions of users taking into consideration both the number of users who visit that site and the number of pages which are viewed by that user. So this score can change quarterly depending on the views/visits at that time.  A lower Alexa number means a greater level of traffic.

Alexa’s detailed explanation on traffic rank.

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). As a first step, Alexa computes the reach and number of page views for all sites on the Web on a daily basis. The main Alexa traffic rank is based on a value derived from these two quantities averaged over time (so that the rank of a site reflects both the number of users who visit that site as well as the number of pages on the site viewed by those users). The three-month change is determined by comparing the site’s current rank with its rank from three months ago. For example, on July 1, the three-month change would show the difference between the rank based on traffic during the first quarter of the year and the rank based on traffic during the second quarter.

What is the Alexa tool bar

This is a free tool which you can download that allows you to measure your own traffic and rankings and check out your competitors ranking. How to download and install the Alexa tool bar is very simple.

Go to Alexa.com/Toolbar  – the page comes up with a large button that has an Alexa Extension from Google Chrome – if you use Google Chrome then you just click the large green button and it all installs the extension direct from Chrome.  If you use Firefox or Internet Explorer there are links on the left.

This tool bar then shows you two rankings – a rank for the world and a rank for your country.  This extention is useful because it also gives you a link for search analytics and way back machine link to see view past performances and also the average load time, this compare you to other sites to see how fast your site is loading right there on your toolbar.

Search analytics

This gives you a bit more information – including – Reputation – which tells you which sites are linked to the particular website.
Toolbar Features:

  • Traffic Stats
  • Search Analytics
  • Audience
  • Contact Info
  • Reviews
  • Related Links
  • Clickstream

All of this information is very valuable to help determine how your site and other sites are performing and if you are reaching your audience.  One way to perform better to create a lower score is to improve your SEO – What is Search Engine Optimisation? is explained on that link.

There are many other features and tools on Alexa.com if you haven’t had a look over there we suggest you do just that, it is an extremely interesting informative site.