Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another Blog about Alexa's Weaknesses

Help me Test my Alexa Conspiracy Theory

I hate Alexa for the same reason that I hate the BCS: Neither of them give accurate information about the mid-majors. The information that it gives for the top sites is generally accurate, but the rest of us are basically judged based on how many of our users have the Alexa toolbar. Let me explain ...

Most internet marketers know that Alexa collects its information based primarily on the surfing habits of those who have downloaded the Alexa toolbar -- at least that's what I've heard from people that I consider "in the know". I've never done an actual test, but I've seen enough anecdotal evidence to make me believe.

How many of you have watched your Alexa ranking move in the opposite direction of your actual traffic numbers, for good or bad? I don't know how many times I have seen it happen for and my very own blog. I'm not talking about minor discrepencies either. We're talking about days when actual traffic is abysmally low and Alexa rankings absolutely soar, and visa versa.

The sad thing is that internet pros actually depend religiously on Alexa for accurate info about site traffic. For the big dogs this is fine, but for us mid-majors the system is totally bogus and can be manipulated easily.

Anyway, I need all of you to help me get to the bottom of this. Here's how you can help:

1) If you haven't already, go to and download the Alexa toolbar. The link is on the left side of the page, top of the coulmn. After the test, feel free to delete it.

2) As soon as you download it, post a comment on this site so I know how many participants we have. (Ths could expose me as a seriously unpopular blogger, but what the hay ...)

3) Visit my blog -- -- twice a day for a week. Even if you read this via RSS, come to my actual site. I'll report on traffic changes all week.

I imagine that we'll only need about 20 people to make it happen. So if there are less than 20 people on the list when you put your name on the list, send this entry to a fellow internet junkie. I promise that this isn't just a ploy for more traffic. In fact, if more than 30 people participate, it would destroy my theory -- a few Alexa toolbars users and rankings go through the roof.

My current ranking is 1,013,689. I really think that if we get 20 people to do this, I honestly think I could easily break the top 500,000.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and you'll all know it. But if I'm right, maybe this little test can help mid-majors like us gain a little more respect.

Here's the Alexa link: Ready, set, go!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Next Level

When I was in college, I roomed with one of the best point guards in the history of BYU basketball. The guy had insane --and I mean insane -- handles. He was the singular reason that no team ever tried to run a full-court press on BYU from 1999-2002.

Sometimes he would try to teach me a few of his tricks and it would amaze me how many small details went into every ankle-breaking crossover, or an inside-outside fake. After a while I came to see that the biggest difference between him and I was the attention he paid to detail. Every detail of every step had been carefully studied and tweaked one at a time until the entire motion was perfect.

His attention to detail brought his game to the elusive "next level".

I thnk the difference between good internet companies and great internet companies is attention to detail. These days every company knows the basics -- consistant emails, simple interface, reinforced value, permission marketing principles, blah, blah, blah. Great internet companies do these things as a rule and they measure and test every little element of each tactic.

For instance, a good internet company is happy with an email newsletter with a large subscription base. A great internet company has an email newsletter with a large subscription base, a great click-through rate, a huge open rate, an effective viral element, news that customers care about, etc. Great internet companies don't get that way by accident. They get that way because they measure and track like it's going out of style.

We're trying our best to measure our way to greatness at You should be too.

Searching for an Online Ad Sales Ninja ... is looking for a jedi knight, thunder lizard of a salesman to lead its national ad sales efforts. If you or anyone you know fits the description above, contact me at jeff (at)