Much has been written about the accuracy of Alexa traffic rankings. While there is SEO consensus that Alexa rank is getting harder to game, there is still plenty of evidence that Alexa rankings are often innaccurate. As well as plenty of grumbling webmasters.
I am on Alexa’s side. Alexa is the internet’s most accurate free traffic ranking tool, and arguably about as accurate as Nielson ratings or Gallup polls (as judged by the size of Alexa’s statistical sample). Granted, the Alexa toolbar is only available for Internet Explorer, thereby negating the votes of surfers savvy enough to use Firefox 😉 . And granted, Alexa measures impressions which unfairly favors click-factories like MySpace over websites that only require one pageview. And granted, Google Analytics is probably a harbinger of an awesome Google-style Alexa site that I imagine is being developed as I type. But Alexa is currently the best traffic comparison tool we have, and is proven to be at least marginally accurate. Quantcast.com may be an interesting site when it gets out of Beta, but is currently less accurate than Alexa. So much like Democracy, Alexa is the least bad system we’ve got.
How This Relates to ValueWiki
The reason I bring this up is that ValueWiki is finally out of the Google Sandbox and now appears to be in some sort of Alexa Sandbox. ValueWiki traffic is experiencing a nice hockeystick chart now that Google has indexed more than 17,000 pages for the “valuewiki.com” domain and 5,600 pages for the “www.valuewiki.com” domain. A Google search for “ValueWiki” now returns over 100,000 pages. Meanwhile, it seems to be taking Alexa a while to register the new traffic jump. Alexa only checks our internet-reach once a week, and the results often leave Zach and I scratching our heads. The internet is full of disturbing anecdotes like Forscene.net which has claimed to have millions of daily impressions and no Alexa ranking.
Whether or not Alexa is reliably accurate, it is a benchmark for Silicon Valley VC’s and pundits and a badge of street cred in the Web 2.0 universe. So despite the supercilious stares of the SEO world, I will most likely continue my morning routine of checking my email, checking my stocks, and checking my Alexa ranking…