Thursday, March 30, 2006

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!


Anonymous Michael Eagar said...


Interesting Post. In my experience with free traffic reporting services (,, etc.), Alexa works very well for most popular sites but tends to rank sites with a tech user base higher because the user base of Alexa leans to tech users. Other than this, it works great for popular sites (top 80,000), and does not seem to work for mid-range or unpopular sites (most of the millions of blogs, websites, etc.).

I have performed research on over 1 million websites using Alexa data.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Chad Blodgett said...

Jeff, your comparison of Alexa with the BCS really hits it home. I'm in on your experament -

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. I'm in.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Sophie Barth said...

Twice a day? One week? I'm in, but I hope there's some regular jeffopholizing (jeff+philosophizing) coming.

4:36 PM  

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