While Alexa ranking may be an internationally accepted, publicly available, amazingly popular, website ranking system still ALEXA RANKING HARDLY MATTER !
Recently one of my friend started an investment Blog and told how his 1 year old website is ranked 200,578 (22,772 India) against mine 7 years old Merchant Navy Website whose Ranking is 391,293 (61,103 India). In our talk about SEO, Google Analytics and Making money online we both came to know that my website traffic is actually 5 times more than his !
I informed him that if he was only interested in measuring competition Semrush might be a better choice ! Anyways where is Alexa going wrong and how are Alexa ranks calculated ?
Alexa's traffic estimates are based on data from our global traffic panel, which is a sample of millions of Internet users using one of over 25,000 different browser extensions. In addition, we gather much of our traffic data from direct sources in the form of sites that have chosen to install the Alexa script on their site and certify their metrics ...Sounds Geeky ! While nobody accurately knows how they calculate Alexa Rank, few things worth mentioning
Our global traffic rank is a measure of how a website is doing relative to all other sites on the web over the past 3 months. The rank is calculated using a proprietary methodology that combines a site's estimated average of daily unique visitors and its estimated number of pageviews over the past 3 months. We provide a similar country-specific ranking, which is a measurement of how a website ranks in a particular country relative to other sites over the past month.
The short answer is that any ranking system ranks you relative to others. The Alexa Traffic Rank ranks your site relative to all other sites in the world.So Alexa compares your ESTIMATES with other website ESTIMATES (guesswork with another guess work) and they rank these ESTIMATES relatively (another guess work), which neither YOU nor YOUR COMPETITOR understand ! Great !
A good analogy is running a race. Let's say that yesterday you finished the race in 3rd place. If you race again today and have a faster time, you could still finish in 4th place if 3 other people run faster than you. Even though you ran a faster race, your 'ranking' got worse because other people ran even faster.
Estimated global traffic ranks of 100,000+ are subject to large fluctuations and should be considered rough estimates. Global traffic ranks of 100,000+ should be regarded as rough estimates, as the data used to calculate these ranks is sparse.You can read here and here to know more about it ! So according to them there ESTIMATES are worse for 100,000 and above ranked websites. No wonder my friends website with 1/5th of my website traffic has better Alexa Rank !