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Traffic’s Not Down, So Why Is My Alexa Rank Down?

Posted by on May 26, 2011

I’m probably one of the few people that still touts Alexa as a valid informational tool in making at least a cursory determination on how well one’s website is doing online. Even if it’s not precise, as many lament, it’s a good indicator as to whether you’re traffic is doing pretty well when compared to everyone else.


by Chris Brown

So it’s with dismay that I look at my Alexa rank today and see it hovering around 114,000. Yeah, that’s not bad, but just four months ago it was around 75,000. I look at the numbers and for some reason see myself as a failure. And yet, I know I’m not a failure. After some research I’ve figured out what the deal was, and why it might take me a long time to get something like that back.

Some of you might remember that back in November I decided it was time to do a little bit of publicity as it pertains to products I’ve created, as well as talking about myself a little bit. I started on this blog, then did something similar on my business blog. However, instead of replacing the normal posts, I decided to write a second post for each blog to show up in the evenings. In other words, I was writing at least two posts a day for upwards of a week or more on both blogs.

What that resulted in was my normal traffic for the day posts, then some booster traffic on my evening posts. Those weren’t as well read as the other posts, since they were obviously of a sales nature. Yet, they still generated traffic, and that helped my Alexa status jump nicely for awhile. I went back to look at Analytics and around the same time this blog jumped, my business blog jumped as well, and at one point that site’s Alexa rank was under 200,000. Alas, it’s now around 329,000, and I hope it’s stabilized to some degree, but probably not.

What this proves is that even if traffic isn’t great, writing more posts a day can actually help your traffic grow. This isn’t really news, though, since many bloggers, especially group sites, end up with multiple posts a day, and that would explain how they rank so highly.

Of course the question is can most of us keep up with that kind of schedule and is there a downfall to it. On the first I’d probably say no. On the second, I’d want to say possibly; yeah, that’s definitive, isn’t it? lol Here’s my thinking. Over the past week, as my posts have been slightly erratic for me, some of the posts have gotten a lot more comments, even if it’s taken a couple of days for them to be found. Writing daily helps traffic stay up, but not writing as often helped comments grow. Writing two posts a day on a consistent basis, with no other reason than to drive traffic, just might be overwhelming for readers and people who might want to comment here and there.

It’s something to consider, I suppose. I’ve definitely considered it, and the way my thoughts are at the present time is that I only want to have multiple posts a day if I have something to say that I feel is significant. If it’s going to be a regular post, I’d rather space them out so that I can try to have continuous content instead.

Of course, this is just my thinking; what’s your take on it all?

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44 Comments »

@Mitch,
For calculating Alexa rank, Amazon counts two main properties.

1) Number of visits
2) Reach – i.e. Number of pages visited per visit.

The second one is very important and even a jump of 0.2 or 0.3 (say a reach of 1.5 to 1.8 or so) can make a significant boost in Alexa ranks for the same traffic and in your case probably the reach is a little reduced, perhaps. You can find this out from your Google Analytics data for the reference periods. It records page views per visit perfectly.

Another thing, since there’s a generic Alexa rank and then US rank, for conversion purposes, you can focus on the US rank as shown on the siteinfo (http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/www.imjustsharing.com)

May 26th, 2011 | 9:53 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s some interesting stuff, Ajith, and when I do look at pageviews, comparing the last 30 days to the first 30 days of the year, the difference is astounding. I hadn’t even thought about that, and I see someone writing after you asked that as a question. I have to admit I like my US ranking a lot! 😉

May 26th, 2011 | 11:41 PM

I find when I am consistent with posting, that my Alexa ranking pretty much improves. Just a few weeks ago, my Alexa ranking started creeping by up, instead of going down. I am now posting at least 3 times a week sometimes, I post on Saturday.

Spacing out my posts allows more time for readers to find the article and comment.

I know when I was posting everyday, my Alexa ranking was just okay and didn’t seem to be going down. Sometimes, I think that it is good to space out posts. It has worked for me in regards to Alexa and comments.

Take care,
Evelyn

May 26th, 2011 | 9:55 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Evelyn, I’ve always kind of made it a thing to write a lot, and though I could still do it, maybe trying to force myself to an every day thing isn’t all that great. I could easily write my content and space it out so that I can always add an extra post when I want to, but could get way ahead on posts as well. Something to think about, especially since it seems that the Alexa ranking is going in the wrong direction, traffic or not. But comments are way up in the last week, so maybe there is something to not writing as often as well.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:43 PM

On my 2-weekly posting schedule I notice people tend to comment more since the posts have got more time to “sink through”.
I couldn’t really write more simply ’cause I don’t have enough time lately to do it, and also because I don’t feel it would matter much due to various reasons (SM strategy, goals etc).
I am not obsessed with traffic though and I don’t earn directly from it like many other bloggers, so I may be the least qualified to give a definitive answer as well.

May 26th, 2011 | 10:38 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Gabriele, I certainly can’t equate traffic with income, at least not on this blog. However, I always thought that the more consistent the content, the higher the ranking. In a way it’s true, but in another way it seems to not be as true.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:44 PM

Mitch,

I agree with Evelyn above when I consistently post whether it be everyday, every other, etc. my ranking does go down. Two posts a day though, that’s pretty good and I don’t think I could accomplish that.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:38 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Lynda, it can be tough to do, and I’m not sure one will really get enough visitors to make it worthwhile all the time. However, there are some big time bloggers that do that, and one that’s big now used to write as many as 10 posts a day when he was first building his blog up. Now there’s a blogging animal!

May 26th, 2011 | 11:47 PM

Hey Mitch, great post… I still kind of look at the Alexa ranking more for curiosity than anything else. I’ve also heard how unreliable their numbers can be. My blog is going on 6 months old and it has an Alexa ranking of 125,588 already and I still only post once a week. Personally, that ain’t too shabby my friend but then again, we know they aren’t always on the money with their numbers.

I won’t be changing my blogging schedule anytime in the near future. I actually cut back on my main blog to twice a week and it’s holding at 83,380 with Alexa. Oh, and it’s also a PR4. I’ve had that blog for two years now and consistently had been posting three times a week.

Thanks for sharing this with us. Great to get your view on this.

Adrienne

May 26th, 2011 | 12:55 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Adrienne, this blog gets no PR, but I’ve heard that for most people their PR has frozen and not changed in close to a year. As for Alexa… well, I guess it is what it is, and truthfully I’ve wondered if I took a hit with the Google Panda update as well, since it was around that same time that my rankings started to decrease.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:48 PM

Have you check the pageviews. That can make alexa rank down 🙁

May 26th, 2011 | 1:23 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Someone else mentioned that to me as well and indeed my page views 4 months ago were drastically higher than they are now.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:48 PM

I have a couple of blogs and a couple of times a week is enough for me 🙂

May 26th, 2011 | 8:23 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carolee, you have many other things going on so it’s all good. If I had kids my life might be as complicated.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:50 PM

Hey Mitch,
I think it is great that you are able to write so much content and not for just 1 blog but 2 I have a hard time coming up with stuff to write on a few times a week. But if you have the ideas then I say go for it share you ideas with the world.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:36 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Actually Val I have 4 blogs of my own, but I mainly work on 2 of them and write the other two when I have time.

May 26th, 2011 | 11:52 PM

Wow, traffic goes up and alexa ranking goes up as well. That ain’t the way it should be right? I think, bounce rate or page views can be a factor as well? or unique ip/visitor as we

May 27th, 2011 | 2:35 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ron, it seems that it’s all kind of an interesting game, and I suppose I should just be happy to be under 150,000.

May 27th, 2011 | 7:37 PM

There is no way I would write two posts a day because if I was to do that blogging would become more of a chore. I will usually write when something comes to mind and I want to share it with other folk.

As to Alexa, mine has gone down some as well but then so has my traffic because my other duties have cause the amounts of posts I do to decrease.

May 27th, 2011 | 2:40 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Sire, I just see it up there on the browser and it just makes me wonder sometimes exactly what’s drawing it; kind of like I do with your tracking site.

May 27th, 2011 | 7:38 PM

Personally I reckon my tracking site is a lot more accurate than Alexa, but then that’s what that code is meant to do. I’m still trying to catch up to you. Ever since you wrote that boob post I’ve been lagging behind.

May 27th, 2011 | 10:08 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

What post? You mean the cleavage post? Hey, that was a serious look at sex and commercialism and it’s been taken out of context. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. lol

May 27th, 2011 | 11:05 PM

Yeah, that’s the one. If it wasn’t for the fact that I keep popping in to look down their tops your Alexa rank would be dropping even more 😀

May 28th, 2011 | 2:53 AM

Don’t really bother about Alexa ranking Mitch. I think a better view can be Google AdPlanner. I don’t think that anybody is looking Alexa anymore.

May 27th, 2011 | 5:27 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, I look at it because if the number is low enough, you really do know that you’re doing a wonderful job in getting traffic to your site. Maybe it doesn’t always equate to sales, but it gives you a shot at it.

May 27th, 2011 | 7:39 PM

As soon as your traffic is not down, I think it is fine. Yeah, it is indication that things are going right, but probably Google Analytics can also give you a better picture. About sale. give a try to re-arrange your products a bit. Or highlight the ads. Probably you know that, but statistics are showing that 300×250 ads are most clicked ads on internet, green color too.

May 28th, 2011 | 5:28 AM
Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing:

It definitely helps with traffic and all the stars, which is why sites that post multiple time per day sometimes have outrageous traffic stats…but their reader engagement is usually in the toilet; this is what has stopped me.

May 27th, 2011 | 2:30 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Strangely enough Dennis, I can’t stick with those sites either. Just overwhelming amounts of content, and I don’t want to get stuck on one blog for all my comments.

May 27th, 2011 | 11:01 PM
Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing:

Exactly right, I remember an awesome SEO blog, but they posted at least 10 per day.

May 28th, 2011 | 2:21 PM

Hi, Mitch. Right now, I am so snowed under with work that all I could manage is one post every week (sometimes not even that) and I could just imagine what this is doing to my Alexa ranking. If yours has decreased, I don’t want to guess what has been happening to mine.

About posting though, I think it would really help to space your articles, so you can give time for your readers to find it. Too many posts can get overwhelming and are harder to keep up with.

May 27th, 2011 | 10:49 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

It’s something I’m going to consider, Wes. I’ve always prided myself on writing daily posts, but I’m seeing way more comments by spacing some of them out so maybe it’s the way to look at things and only write more often if there’s something current I just have to get out. No promises either way, though.

May 27th, 2011 | 11:06 PM

Mitch,

To be perfectly honest, I pay no attention to Alexa rankings. Maybe I should but that would be too time consuming for me to worry about where I rank among other blogs in my genre.

The best way I have gotten traffic to my site is when I “tweet” or post something on LinkedIn–that’s where my sales come from–not because of an Alexa ranking.

Every time I tweet about a product I’m selling, I will get a least one buyer. That works for me.

Last blog post: http://beverlymahone.com UNDERSTANDING HARO

May 28th, 2011 | 9:53 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Bev, at least you’re getting buyers like that, although I really can’t complain because someone bought my book last week, the ebook version, and that always makes me feel pretty good. 🙂 As for tracking Alexa, well, I’m a numbers guy and an analysis guy, so I look at my numbers and other people’s numbers and try to figure out how to improve them. Just what I do, but I’m realizing that it doesn’t always work like that.

May 28th, 2011 | 10:02 AM
Shivam Garg:

Hey Mitch,
I agree with you that Alexa rank is still one of the best ranking tool.I think in order to get some nice traffic and rank one should be consistent like once in three days would be enough.

May 28th, 2011 | 4:35 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Shivam, I’m thinking the consistency part of it all just might work better instead of trying to be too much. It certainly would take some pressure off, that’s for sure.

May 28th, 2011 | 7:12 PM
NT:

Well i think it depends on a lot of things, I have a site that is ranking at 65.000 on alexa with a small amount of daily visitors and only 5 months existing.

And my site with more traffic is not even close to that.

May 29th, 2011 | 4:28 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s just so strange; nope, seems one can’t always just figure out how these things work.

May 29th, 2011 | 10:26 AM

Hi Mitch. Yeah, I’ve been wondering about the same thing too. My site’s traffic was just fine, normal like usual. But the graphic at the Alexa were showing constant decrease. I didn’t know why. Weird.

May 30th, 2011 | 11:01 PM
john@scented candles:

I noticed that Alexa is not accurate most of the times. my traffic was good but the ranking said otherwise…

June 3rd, 2011 | 1:09 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

John, I really don’t expect Alexa to be overly accurate but it’s an interesting tool nonetheless to see how things might be tracking. I mean, even with inaccuracies a 50,000 point decrease is something to wonder about. It’s finally starting to creep back into the range I want it to be in again.

June 3rd, 2011 | 1:25 AM

I still like Alexa with the same reason you stated in the first paragraph. I feel sad when my blog’s Alexa rank is down. Sometimes, I equate site authority to Alexa rank.

June 3rd, 2011 | 8:16 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Raymund, I’d just prefer it to be under 100,000, no matter what anyone else says. lol

June 5th, 2011 | 12:53 AM
Danny:

Mitch, Great writing style, and a very well written run down on “the Alexa Ranking ” mystery.

Just a quick word firstly: Alexa ranking can very easily be scammed…to my surprise recently, I came across a site that did the same with Google PR(The site had PR 6 but had no content, links, ranked keywords….nada)….and looks like a spanking new domain…or close enough)…

Having had a very similar experience regarding my Alexa rank crashing recently(when my site traffic improved measurably) I feel equally dismayed with Alexa.

Though, I must come clean and admit that, I have made it my “mission statement” to no longer get too caught up with or to obsess over, my Alexa ranking.

The reason is that, I know of sites(people) who are having great success(some making from $7’000 to $10’000 per month) yet they have terrible Alexa rankings, and often do not even know what an Alexa ranking is!

Other sites have those miraculous(looks bogus) “sub 10’000) Alexa ranks, yet their site is totally crap, and they are not doing any good with their sites performance(making money, sales, etc)….

I think I know which scenario I would prefer more for my own site, if I had to choose…

I think Alexa rank only matters if all other boxes that constitute a successful site, have been ticked!

Also, as a determining factor, along with PR, SEMRush rank/ traffic/ Google Analytics stats, ETC,ETC…when a site is being bought or sold…(flipped)….

April 10th, 2013 | 2:15 AM

Hi Danny,

Thanks for your comment. I don’t take one thing too seriously, which includes Alexa, but when certain things are happening it’s something I definitely look at. Even now, traffic is down and both Alexa and Google Analytics are showing it. I think it’s important enough to wonder why but not important enough to obsess over any of it; that’s what I work on.

April 11th, 2013 | 10:42 PM