With so many websites sprouting up each day it’s more and more difficult to get a lot of traffic to a website without some serious advertising and SEO effort. One of the ways to keep tabs on the traffic is to use Alexa. One problem with Alexa is, while the weekly and monthly ranks are shown, the daily ranks are absent for most websites and this is because of their footnote
“* Daily values are not available for sites ranked outside of the Top 100K.”
Looks like, as a result of this, they don’t even show the trend in the graph. None of my websites have so far made into the 100K rank yet. So, I have been disappointed for a while about not being able to see my traffic trend. However, I have noticed that a few websites, inspite of their rank being larger than 100K, happen to have their trend graph being plotted.
So, today I realized that if I compare my website with a site that has a trend being plotted, then in the comparison chart, my website’s trend is also plotted! So, you no longer have to despair! Just take another website that has a rank close to 100K and compare it with your website and get your trend.
Alexa has recently changed it’s algorithm for computing the traffic rank. Instead of just relying on their toolbar and widget based traffic, they are now going to get traffic details from other sources and that would certainly make the rankings more credible.
Recently there was also some buzz on what should be considered as traffic and page views due to the heavy use of AJAX in Web 2.0 applications.
Just when you thought now we have a robust means of getting more accurate traffic rank, unique visitors, page views and related metrics, SAAS is going to start skewing these numbers. For a few of the SAAS websites I follow, anywhere from 50% to 80% of their traffic is coming either from their customers using their SAAS application (this is possible to figure out by looking at the traffic by sub-domain and most companies use a separate sub-domain per customer!) or using their forums, bug tracking (you would know if a SAAS company has development in India based on traffic by country!) and other internal applications. While this traffic is “Internet Traffic”, it is not a traffic in the traditional sense. There are not so many SAAS companies at present, but as time passes and more SAAS vendors sprout up, this is going to skew the stats a bit. Just an observation!
At fool.com there is an article today that said Whatever Became of Google Finance? and much of the arguments are based on the number of posts in the discussion boards. I think to a large extent it holds good, but is there a more technical way of figuring this out? Well, there is.
I first checked on quantcast.com for both Yahoo! and Google and neither finance.yahoo.com nor finance.google.com appeared. Then I tried Alexa and found that finance.yahoo.com has 1% of the entire traffic of Yahoo! while finance.google.com didn’t show up against Google. Adding to that, since Yahoo!’s overall traffic is more than Google’s, the difference in traffic to their respective finance sections is perhaps even wider. Add to it, the fact that Google’s domains vary by country, while it appears Yahoo!’s are not (atleast, I don’t see domains by country for Yahoo! on Alexa while I do for Google), their 1% is for the entire world wide traffic which is perhaps even larger.
So, now you know how to figure out the traffic of various sections of the websites if those sections are organized using subdomains!
Amazon surprised everyone in the recent quarter and it’s stock went up more than 50% since then. Not sure how much of their revenue is from their Web Services.
One of the web service they offer is Alexa Top Sites for which they charge $0.0025 per query. That’s about $0.25 for every 100 sites you need to figure out. I am not sure how many are really interested in figuring out traffic ranks by city and all as most websites with a rank above 100k pretty much are all one and the same (well, not exactly, but the traffic in these sites is so little, that there is practically not much difference in knowing if one is 303245 and the other is 523450).
Anyway, with the arrival of Quantcast, Alexa has a very tough competition ahead. Ofcourse, each company uses a different technique to arrive at the ranking (and hence, WordPress for example, ranks around 40 by Quantcast and 96 by Alexa as of this writing), but we all know that no ranking system is perfect. The good thing about Quantcast is, if you are the lucky enough to have a website within 100k ranking, then you can see some very interesting statistics about your audience. A lot of demographic information that is not available with Alexa.
What’s more, Quantcast is giving away the top 1 million sites for free! (check the bottom of the link for a download link). So, now who is interested in paying $0.25 for every 100 results to Alexa, rise your hands!
Excellent job Quantcast. Keep up the good work!