Understanding When Alexa Rank Matters

I get a lot of questions from new Domainers about Alexa rank and how important it is when monetizing or selling domains. While I myself am a self-diagnosed Alexa-addict, I also have a good understanding of when it really matters. While having a low Alexa rank can be a great indicator of traffic, too often is it looked-at as a general indicator of domain traffic rather than an indicator of a specific type of traffic.

Your Alexa rank tells you how popular your domain/website is with users who have installed the Alexa Toolbar. This is VERY important to understand so I’ll say it again – this time in bold to make it more dramatic – Alexa rank tells you how popular your domain/website is with users who have installed the Alexa Toolbar.

That’s right – it’s pretty simple, the more people with the Alexa Toolbar that visit your site – the lower your rank will be. Here’s the catch – only a small percentage of Internet users have the Alexa Toolbar installed – so what’s important to understand is the characteristics of the typical person who installs the toolbar.The Alexa Toolbar is installed frequently by web developers and internet marketers – they tend to  be people who themselves have web properties and care about Alexa rank.

So when does Alexa rank matter?

For me I care most about Alexa rank on sites that I think will mostly attract web developers and internet marketers. My blog, mini-sites about Twitter, HTML, CSS, and web design, blogs about blogging, etc. Just think about it – a website about web design should hopefully attract web designers, since these are the people most likely to have the Alexa Toolbar the Alexa rank would be more important to me than on a site about peanuts.

Now suppose I build a website targeting senior citizens. Well then I’d imagine I could get a pretty nice amount of traffic while having a high Alexa rank since I wouldn’t expect your average senior citizen to have the Alexa Toolbar installed. No offense to senior citizens here – we’re all going to be one some day!

So now take a look at your domains and think – is my target customer/visitor a web developer or a gardener, an internet marketing guru or a guy looking to find auto liquidators online?

Alexa rank matters to me, and it should matter to you too – it’s just important to understand WHEN it matters! Now stop reading about Alexa rank – it’s Friday night and you’ve got a long weekend ahead of you – get outside and enjoy the good weather!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton