In my previous post on Google PageRank I mentioned Alexa Ranking, also known officially as the Alexa Traffic Rank.

As promised, I am now going pick up where I left it and explain what the Alexa Traffic Rank is.

Alexa Traffic Rank gets its name from the website named alexa.com which belongs to Amazon.com. Alexa calls itself “The Web Information Company”. The aim of Alexa is to gather information about all existing websites and present them to anyone who wants to check on a website.

While most Internet users may not know what Alexa is, the information available on Alexa.com and more particularly the Alexa Traffic Ranking for websites is particularly important and useful to website owners.

The Alexa Traffic Rank is an estimated number that Alexa places on any website to indicate how popular the website is, that is, how well the website is doing in term of traffic in relation to other websites. Just like the Google PageRank, Alexa makes use of some sophisticated technologies to make those estimates.

For example, my website has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 626,903, at the time of writing. This means, in Alexa’s estimate, of all the websites out there 626,208 have more web traffic than my website. Now, it would be interesting to note, Google has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 1and Facebook 2, meaning Google is the most popular website and Facebook the second most popular website on the planet and according to Netcraft.com in July 2010 there were 205,714,253 websites.

There are several ways, you can find out the Alexa Traffic Rank for any website.

The easiest way, by far, to find this ranking is to download and install the Alexa Toolbar.

If you don’t want the hassle of installing a new toolbar on your web browser, the next way is to go to alexa.com and type in the website address (URL) of the website you want to check into the search box. It will take you to the web page where you can read the Alexa Traffic Rank and other relevant information about the website you’re interested in.

Now, while you are on the Alexa website, make sure you check the top websites and what’s hot currently on the Internet. Also check the Traffic Stats, Search Analytics, the Audience demographics, Reviews and Related Links and Click streams for your own website or favourite websites.

Those data are very useful for market research and competitive analysis and I will elaborate those in a future post.

Lastly, you can create an account with Alexa and claim your own website with them. With an Alexa account you can edit your website description, you can write a review for your own or any other website, and you can respond to other people’s review of your website. All this is good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) effort.

If you want to check what Alexa has to say about this website check http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/benwan.net

If you have any question about Alexa, such as “how do I increase my Alexa Ranking?” please put your question in the comment box below.

Action Steps:
1. Check http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/benwan.net
2. Check what Alexa has to say about your website
3. Download and install Alexa toolbar if you haven’t done so already.

Advance Action Steps
4. Create an account with Alexa and edit a description of your website with them.
5. Write a review for your website.
6. Write a review for my website.

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