Alexa.com has revised how they rank web site traffic.
Excerpts regarding their changes from the Alexa.com blog:
“Alexa began displaying rankings in 1998 it was with the goal of showing Alexa Toolbar users how popular any given site was within the Alexa community. We generated the rankings through an analysis of Internet usage by people who use the Alexa Toolbar. Since that time we’ve been delighted to see that the Alexa Rankings have become a yardstick by which website popularity is measured.
We listened to your suggestions, and we believe that our new rankings system is much closer to what you asked for. We now aggregate data from multiple sources to give you a better indication of website popularity among the entire population of Internet users.”
I had stopped looking at Alexa.com data several years ago because Alexa data was being manipulated and exploited by webmasters who were looking to make their traffic appear greater than it actually was.
Previously, Alexa gathered its data from a single source – the Alexa tool bar installed in web browsers.
Webmasters simply installed the Alexa tool bar and visited their own site(s) once, twice, several times a day which then resulted in an exponentially higher traffic ranking for their site because of the way Alexa.com extrapolated its data.
By gathering their data from more than one source, Alexa should restore the spirit and accuracy to the web traffic rankings system Alexa.com pioneered.