Any business owner who is truly concerned with an e-commerce operation and web presence needs to be aware of Alexa. This internet company can help an organisation increase internet visibility and assess current marketing efforts.
Primarily, Alexa provides a toolbar to internet surfers. But more than that, it sends out web crawlers and ranks websites based on traffic statistics gleaned from people using the toolbar. Over a three month period, these numbers comprise the basis for the various reports Alexa provides on search habits and internet traffic.
Alexa was first founded back in 1996, during the infancy of the World Wide Web. It was instituted in response to internet surfers who indicated a desire for a better way to navigate the web and its offerings. From those beginnings it eventually grew to the company today that has developed its own infrastructure, software, and processes able to handle huge amounts of data.
Users who install Alexa’s unique toolbar are contributing to the available information on a variety of websites throughout the internet, as well as search habits of the average consumer.
This information is added to the company’s database and used in assessing page ranks, related links, and traffic details. Alexa also provides a listing of the top sites worldwide according to a specific category, country, or language.
How Alexa Can Help You
For any website owner, there are a number of tools Alexa has developed to monetise a site, drive targeted traffic, and give an overall assessment of ease of use and viability. General information about the web, traffic patterns and related links are available via the Alexa Web Information Service, which utilises an Amazon platform.
An Alexa ranking for your website is important in that it provides the owner with some valuable information. Website ranking is based on not only page views, but market reach determined by the number of users who visit on any given day.
The number one site is listed by category or location and by personal or business designation, further giving the website owner an insight into how well he or she is targeting their respective business market. Website ranking is only given to a top level domain, and not provided for pages or subdomains.
Further statistics available are ‘Sites Linking In’ and Related Links. Sites Linking In is calculated by the number of inbound links to your URL, but does not take into account multiple links from one website. Related Links are developed utilising techniques of archiving, crawling, categorising, and data mining to form a relationship between like sites. Two or more sites with the same content are automatically combined and considered one for ranking purposes.
Available to anyone who wishes to download it, Alexa provides a listing of the top 500 and the top million websites, as determined by its ranking system. Along with these listings, Alexa also offers the Search Terms Driving Traffic report for free, which is updated monthly. This shows the top ten search terms from the major search engines being used to drive traffic to websites.
Obviously, Alexa and its services are an important consideration for the website owner who wishes to determine page rank and market reach based on the company’s unique toolbar data. While submission to the site and its reports are free, there are also paid advertising opportunities for businesses, although this does not influence ranking.
There is additional information, including contact methods, available on the company’s website, which will help the site owner get started with an Alexa ranking.