Alexa Rankings Change Assumptions

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If you haven’t seen the Love Logo infographic about domain industry blogs, check it out. It offers some very cool insight into domain industry blogs, including my own.  Love Logo has created similar infographics, shared on Hybrid Domainer in December of 2012 and August of 2012.

It’s interesting to compare the numbers, and I especially appreciate the fact that readers of my blog comment so frequently. Yes, the comment numbers are likely juiced by the weekly brokerage listings posts I do, but you can have a look at various posts, and there seem to be great comments in just about all of them, and I appreciate that people are willing to share and discuss the business here.

One thing that has changed most significantly, and perhaps not for the best, are the Alexa rankings of just about all of the domain blogs (domain forums, domain registrars, and other domain industry websites are similarly dropping as well). Taking out a couple of anomalously  high traffic days in 2012 due to breaking news stories, my traffic figures aren’t down as much as the Alexa numbers would imply, so I think there’s more to the lower rankings than simple traffic loss.

In light of the higher Alexa numbers (lower is better in this case), I want to share some personal guesses about what may be causing the Alexa rankings changes across the domain blog sphere.

Alexa ranking algorithm changes – Alexa rankings seem to skew to Internet and technology related websites because of the way they are calculated. Perhaps Alexa has been making a concerted effort to change the way it ranks websites to be more fair to general topics. Many of my non-tech websites are performing better in Alexa, despite ranks that are lower than my blog.

Fewer SEOs reading domain blogs – From what I understand, Alexa rankings are at least partially calculated based on the websites that are visited by people who have the Alexa toolbar installed. This is most likely skewed because many SEO experts have it installed on their browsers. As a result of Google updates, domain names aren’t as valuable to SEO professionals, so perhaps they are spending less time reading domain blogs, consequently causing the drop.

Economy causing fewer people to care about domain names – I believe there has been quite a bit of attrition when it comes to investing in domain names. While the people at the top of the food chain continue to do well, it has become more difficult for people in the middle and lower rungs of the business to make money, and many have left the space altogether. Perhaps there are fewer people interested in reading about domain names. I think this will be challenged later this year when gTLDs are introduced, as this will bring much more interest in domain names and new money (maybe not smart money, but that’s a a matter of opinion that can be discussed on another day).

More resources available  – With more resources available for people to learn about domain names, the traffic is more spread out, causing lower Alexa rankings almost across the board.

I would be interested in hearing about what you think is causing the drop in Alexa rankings just about across the board in the domain industry.

13 COMMENTS

  1. You bastard!!! Who is feeding you info ? I kid with you Elliot but in all series I had been working on this actually before the new LoveLogo infographic. I was going to make the title Is Domaining Getting Less Interesting ? According to Alexa it is.

    It is wild, because I know traffic has maintained or gone up for most and Alexa ratings have gone down, I first noticed Hybrid Domainer and Morgan Linton, then I looked at you and Mike(thedomains). Alexa is a fickle site, there are a lot of things that never make any sense.

    It must be my dog tipping you off as he would like a new dog walker.

    • I agree, but the truth is that Alexa is still the most sought after website ranking tool that people care about… no matter what we think about Alexa.

      I recently came across a service to increase alexa rank called http://www.rankage.com and started using it for some of my websites and I have to say that a good Alexa rank does improve the site’s image (and sales) in a major way.

  2. *

    I would say that Alexa is wildly inaccurate.

    I believe that there are better stat companies out there.

    *

  3. My popularity has plummeted over the last few years according to Alexa, but all the stats I care about (views, uniques, etc) are growing fast.

    Alexa can be useful for some things, but I’m not going to lose a wink of sleep over my ranking.

    • I agree, but I find it peculiar that virtually all domain industry websites are seeing a drop in Alexa rankings. It’s not as if it’s isolated – it seems to be across the board – which is what makes it more interesting.

  4. The domain industry went through a boom and bust cycle, even if a few pollyannas refuse to accept it.

    Just because there will always be a need for houses doesn’t mean that any price for a house is justified. Likewise, a lot of the casuals left the industry when things ‘got hard’.

    The remaining blogs, well, they each offer their own unique thing, but it’s getting rapidly less and less interesting to read.

    TheDomains made a catastrophically bad decision to require signup to comment. There goes comments, there goes 3/4 of the reason people engage on your site. The petty, Nixon’esque need this crap industry has with formulating friend/enemy lists is just stupid.

    Ricks blog- essentially nothing there worth reading. People finally realized that and, well, stopped reading.

    Bloggers like Schilling, Sahar all realized what a waste of time it was. They were a loss.

    A few of the fringe “Will Blog For Food” entities can be amusing at times, but nothing substantive there.

    Never trust Alexa, but anyone who can’t (or, refuses) to see that the domain blogosphere is in a death-spiral state of terminal decline is blind.

    • That’s a matter of opinion, but the point is that while traffic is growing or staying the same for many, Alexa rankings are precipitously dropping.

      Why is that?

      Given actual traffic figures, one would assume steady or raising Alexa numbers.

  5. My Alexa traffic rank went down really quick. From being inside the top 100,000 to being at 202,000 in just about a month. But the visits, hits and pageviews of my page are better than ever.

    The thing is that a lot of the advertising on the blogs depend on the alexa traffic rank, so I’m losing money … any advice on how to revert this??

  6. Alexa seems to have done something ‘different’. Suddenly my Alexa ranking (for IN) has dropped fm around 65000 to 100000. This inspite of the fact that last month was the best ever. 8-(

  7. Very nice insights. I share the frustration of many of the people who have commented. What is weird about Alexa is that I have been hovering at 250,000 between 238,000 and 270,00) but cannot understand why it goes up or down. Sometimes I have a lot of visitors to my blog when I post for a few days and it does not impact Alexa.
    Also, in my range it is hard to improve and it looks like I am drifting backwards even when I have a lot of traffic due to a new post.
    What are your thoughts on this?

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