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Re: Alexa tracking

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  • robbinsteif
    We had a couple of Alexa threads on here in the past few months, so if you type Alexa into the search box, you will find some interesting answers. (For
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 2, 2006
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      We had a couple of Alexa threads on here in the past few months, so if
      you type Alexa into the search box, you will find some interesting
      answers. (For example, I relearned that there www.ranking.com is an
      Alexa alternative.) Alexa only picks up searches from individuals who
      download the Alexa toolbar, and you can primarily do that with IE.
      Despite their icon on their site, they do not have a FireFox plugin.
      During the winter when we had one thread going on this, I remember one
      analyst saying, "I consider Alexa to be voodoo" or something like
      that. On the other hand, I (the writer) have used it very successfully
      to triangulate data - when I already know what the visits are from two
      customers, I can use their Alexa data to figure out what the visits
      are to a third company that I am not working with.

      Robbin

      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Leslie Nicholson <ldncc@...> wrote:
      >
      > I've had success in posting questions here in the past so I'm hoping
      someone can help me with the following.
      >
      > The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our
      various properties around the country. One of those properties
      brought to my attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking
      tool. The numbers do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder
      how Alexa gathers with information without our log files. Does anyone
      know about this company? From what I gather, they are free to the
      public for general web analytics.
      >
      > Thank you!
      > Leslie
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Mike Barker
      Leslie, 1) Alexa is part of Amazon.com, one would expect good things from them ? 2) Alexa picks up stats from toolbar traffic, and is therefore a
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 2, 2006
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        Leslie,



        1) Alexa is part of Amazon.com, one would expect good things from them
        ?

        2) Alexa picks up stats from toolbar traffic, and is therefore a
        sample of worldwide traffic and may have various biases - I tried to explore
        a suggestion that Alexa also included other traffic ( maybe logfiles from
        ISPs ) to overcome biases, but there was no feedback.

        3) Alexa stats can be manipulated - anyone with an Alexa toolbar and
        plenty of time may be able to skew the stats - at one point Korean sites and
        interests dominated ( maybe because they all used the toolbar )

        4) Alexa is not accurate for low traffic sites, yet some members of
        this forum have been impreseed with the accuracy - search this forum for
        details

        5) Alexa is used by some SEOs as a measurement of their ability -
        treat such claims with caution.

        6) Alexa has some other interesting tools - see their website.



        Also see part of a summary below - posted some time ago .



        Thanks,

        Mike Barker

        JHB, South Africa



        Category: Research Resources



        Heading: Alexa Web Site Ranking



        Introduction: Alexa.com ( www.alexa.com <http://www.alexa.com/> ), part of
        amazon.com, track traffic to websites and then issue a ranking of the sites
        depending on the volume of traffic. The question is how accurate are these
        traffic stats, and how do they gather them ?





        Topic 001: Accuracy

        Summary: 1) Evidence that Alexa traffic stats are within 10% of that
        measured at the site



        Julius of http://www.falabella.com <http://www.falabella.com/> wrote:

        ( Reference:- Eric T. Peterson's Web Analytics Forum )



        " After reading everyone's comments, I decided to do a comparison between
        two e-commerce sites that the company I work for runs versus two of our
        direct competitors.



        I took the reach from Alexa for each site and compared it to the visits
        reported in Omniture during the same period for our sites. I found that the
        ration between reach and visitors was within 10% of our two sites. All the
        sites in the comparison have a ranking greater than 100,000, the number
        Alexa claims in necessary for statistical relevance.



        I don't know the impact of the international bias given that probably very
        few Chileans have the toolbar installed and that our company has the best
        international brand recognition from all the local retailers.



        In the end, the data does seem to give the correct order of the retailers by
        size, although I can't necessarily trust the magnitude of the differences. "











        _____

        From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Leslie Nicholson
        Sent: 03 August 2006 12:46 AM
        To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [webanalytics] Alexa tracking



        I've had success in posting questions here in the past so I'm hoping someone
        can help me with the following.

        The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our various
        properties around the country. One of those properties brought to my
        attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking tool. The numbers
        do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder how Alexa gathers with
        information without our log files. Does anyone know about this company? From
        what I gather, they are free to the public for general web analytics.

        Thank you!
        Leslie


        ---------------------------------
        See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Daniel
        Hi Leslie, I am not sure exactly how Alexa works (and for this the Yahoo group search is the best option.) In addition, I think you should read Matt Belkin s
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 2, 2006
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          Hi Leslie,

          I am not sure exactly how Alexa works (and for this the Yahoo group
          search is the best option.)

          In addition, I think you should read Matt Belkin's post on the
          subject, it is very clarifying: http://www.omniture.com/blog/node/22

          I work with Hitwise and WebTrends and it helped me understand the
          differences between the methods.

          Hope that helps.
          Daniel Waisberg


          --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "robbinsteif" <steif@...> wrote:
          >
          > We had a couple of Alexa threads on here in the past few months, so if
          > you type Alexa into the search box, you will find some interesting
          > answers. (For example, I relearned that there www.ranking.com is an
          > Alexa alternative.) Alexa only picks up searches from individuals who
          > download the Alexa toolbar, and you can primarily do that with IE.
          > Despite their icon on their site, they do not have a FireFox plugin.
          > During the winter when we had one thread going on this, I remember one
          > analyst saying, "I consider Alexa to be voodoo" or something like
          > that. On the other hand, I (the writer) have used it very successfully
          > to triangulate data - when I already know what the visits are from two
          > customers, I can use their Alexa data to figure out what the visits
          > are to a third company that I am not working with.
          >
          > Robbin
          >
          > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Leslie Nicholson <ldncc@> wrote:
          > >
          > > I've had success in posting questions here in the past so I'm hoping
          > someone can help me with the following.
          > >
          > > The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our
          > various properties around the country. One of those properties
          > brought to my attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking
          > tool. The numbers do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder
          > how Alexa gathers with information without our log files. Does anyone
          > know about this company? From what I gather, they are free to the
          > public for general web analytics.
          > >
          > > Thank you!
          > > Leslie
          > >
          > >
          > > ---------------------------------
          > > See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
        • Emmanuel PARODY
          Hi Leslie May be Alexa can give some interesting datas about global trends. But outside US the number of people using the toolbar is too low to give useful
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 3, 2006
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            Hi Leslie

            May be Alexa can give some interesting datas about global trends. But outside US the number of people using the toolbar is too low to give useful meaning. Never use it for your international properties. Trends can be accurate but volume or reach estimates are completely false. I was afraid when I discovered that some US based VCs use Alexa to evaluate new targets in Europe. In some countries with only a few guys using Alexa Toolbar you can change the reach by 30 to 60 % (I tried myself, moving the reach of my own blog from 2.5M to 460 K ...).

            And by the way I noticed that most of the people using Alexa stats don't really understand it. They think Alexa provide direct Pages views volumes, unique users etc... Which is wrong, all we can get is some "voodoo ratios" ...

            Emmanuel

            _______________________
            Emmanuel PARODY
            Lesechos.fr
            My Blog : http://ecosphere.wordpress.com



            ----- Message d'origine ----
            De : robbinsteif <steif@...>
            À : webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            Envoyé le : Jeudi, 3 Août 2006, 2h41mn 33s
            Objet : [webanalytics] Re: Alexa tracking

            We had a couple of Alexa threads on here in the past few months, so if
            you type Alexa into the search box, you will find some interesting
            answers. (For example, I relearned that there www.ranking. com is an
            Alexa alternative. ) Alexa only picks up searches from individuals who
            download the Alexa toolbar, and you can primarily do that with IE.
            Despite their icon on their site, they do not have a FireFox plugin.
            During the winter when we had one thread going on this, I remember one
            analyst saying, "I consider Alexa to be voodoo" or something like
            that. On the other hand, I (the writer) have used it very successfully
            to triangulate data - when I already know what the visits are from two
            customers, I can use their Alexa data to figure out what the visits
            are to a third company that I am not working with.

            Robbin

            --- In webanalytics@ yahoogroups. com, Leslie Nicholson <ldncc@...> wrote:
            >
            > I've had success in posting questions here in the past so I'm hoping
            someone can help me with the following.
            >
            > The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our
            various properties around the country. One of those properties
            brought to my attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking
            tool. The numbers do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder
            how Alexa gathers with information without our log files. Does anyone
            know about this company? From what I gather, they are free to the
            public for general web analytics.
            >
            > Thank you!
            > Leslie
            >
            >
            > ------------ --------- --------- ---
            > See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Steve
            Matt Cutts from Google has had two recent blog postings about his thoughts on Alexa. http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/a-word-about-metrics-part-i/
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 3, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Matt Cutts from Google has had two recent blog postings about his
              thoughts on Alexa.

              http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/a-word-about-metrics-part-i/
              http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/a-word-about-metrics-part-ii/


              Personally, and at risk of upsetting Robbin :-) , I'd sooner trust
              data from /dev/random than Alexa. I've seen too many cases where it's
              presented numbers that are so far from reality as to be as useful as
              measuring site activity by hits alone. ;-)

              Cheers!
              - Steve

              On 8/3/06, Leslie Nicholson <ldncc@...> wrote:
              > I've had success in posting questions here in the past so I'm hoping someone can help me with the following.
              >
              > The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our various properties around the country. One of those properties brought to my attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking tool. The numbers do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder how Alexa gathers with information without our log files. Does anyone know about this company? From what I gather, they are free to the public for general web analytics.
              >
              > Thank you!
              > Leslie
            • julien.coquet
              it also seems to me that Alexa has a hard time sorting out subdomains... for instance, my blog had the same Alexa rating as that of my ISP not sure if they
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 3, 2006
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                it also seems to me that Alexa has a hard time sorting out subdomains...

                for instance, my blog had the same Alexa rating as that of my ISP

                not sure if they fixed that too but, back then, talking about Alexa
                providing ballpark estimates was more than frowned upon.


                --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Andy <lfe4life@...> wrote:
                >
                > Leslie,
                >
                > Alexa tracks the internet usage of their toolbar users. Then they
                use their community of toolbar users as a representative sample and
                extrapolate these numbers to estimate website traffic statistics for a
                particular website.
                >
                > Andy Chun
                > Kelley Blue Book
                >
                >
                > Leslie Nicholson <ldncc@...> wrote:
                > I've had success in posting questions here in the past so
                I'm hoping someone can help me with the following.
                >
                > The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our
                various properties around the country. One of those properties brought
                to my attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking tool.
                The numbers do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder how
                Alexa gathers with information without our log files. Does anyone know
                about this company? From what I gather, they are free to the public
                for general web analytics.
                >
                > Thank you!
                > Leslie
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone
                call rates.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Justin_Metzl
                Alexaholic.com I think uses alexa engine as well. It s a very interesting site that lets you pick up to 5 sites and look at trends among similar sites. Justin
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 3, 2006
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                  Alexaholic.com I think uses alexa engine as well. It's a very
                  interesting site that lets you pick up to 5 sites and look at trends
                  among similar sites.


                  Justin Metzl
                  Associate Director, E-Commerce

                  Alienware Corporation
                  Phone: 305.251.9797
                  Fax: 786.388.5701
                  www.alienware.com



                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                  On Behalf Of Mike Barker
                  Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:00 AM
                  To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [webanalytics] Alexa tracking



                  Leslie,



                  1) Alexa is part of Amazon.com, one would expect good things from
                  them
                  ?

                  2) Alexa picks up stats from toolbar traffic, and is therefore a
                  sample of worldwide traffic and may have various biases - I tried to
                  explore
                  a suggestion that Alexa also included other traffic ( maybe logfiles
                  from
                  ISPs ) to overcome biases, but there was no feedback.

                  3) Alexa stats can be manipulated - anyone with an Alexa toolbar
                  and
                  plenty of time may be able to skew the stats - at one point Korean sites
                  and
                  interests dominated ( maybe because they all used the toolbar )

                  4) Alexa is not accurate for low traffic sites, yet some members
                  of
                  this forum have been impreseed with the accuracy - search this forum for
                  details

                  5) Alexa is used by some SEOs as a measurement of their ability -
                  treat such claims with caution.

                  6) Alexa has some other interesting tools - see their website.



                  Also see part of a summary below - posted some time ago .



                  Thanks,

                  Mike Barker

                  JHB, South Africa



                  Category: Research Resources



                  Heading: Alexa Web Site Ranking



                  Introduction: Alexa.com ( www.alexa.com <http://www.alexa.com/> ),
                  part of
                  amazon.com, track traffic to websites and then issue a ranking of the
                  sites
                  depending on the volume of traffic. The question is how accurate are
                  these
                  traffic stats, and how do they gather them ?





                  Topic 001: Accuracy

                  Summary: 1) Evidence that Alexa traffic stats are within 10% of
                  that
                  measured at the site



                  Julius of http://www.falabella.com <http://www.falabella.com/> wrote:

                  ( Reference:- Eric T. Peterson's Web Analytics Forum )



                  " After reading everyone's comments, I decided to do a comparison
                  between
                  two e-commerce sites that the company I work for runs versus two of our
                  direct competitors.



                  I took the reach from Alexa for each site and compared it to the visits
                  reported in Omniture during the same period for our sites. I found that
                  the
                  ration between reach and visitors was within 10% of our two sites. All
                  the
                  sites in the comparison have a ranking greater than 100,000, the number
                  Alexa claims in necessary for statistical relevance.



                  I don't know the impact of the international bias given that probably
                  very
                  few Chileans have the toolbar installed and that our company has the
                  best
                  international brand recognition from all the local retailers.



                  In the end, the data does seem to give the correct order of the
                  retailers by
                  size, although I can't necessarily trust the magnitude of the
                  differences. "











                  _____

                  From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                  On
                  Behalf Of Leslie Nicholson
                  Sent: 03 August 2006 12:46 AM
                  To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [webanalytics] Alexa tracking



                  I've had success in posting questions here in the past so I'm hoping
                  someone
                  can help me with the following.

                  The company I work for maintains over 200 Web sites, all for our various
                  properties around the country. One of those properties brought to my
                  attention the Web site, Alexa, as an online web tracking tool. The
                  numbers
                  do not match what I have in WebTrends, and I wonder how Alexa gathers
                  with
                  information without our log files. Does anyone know about this company?
                  From
                  what I gather, they are free to the public for general web analytics.

                  Thank you!
                  Leslie


                  ---------------------------------
                  See the all-new, redesigned Yahoo.com. Check it out.

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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