Most of you must have noticed that your Alexa rank widgets and toolbar data are not getting updated for the past three weeks or so. Even the Alexa website’s traffic details query is showing data that was frozen three weeks ago. As it seems, Alexa is doing another upgrade to their ranking algorithm, just like they did in April 2008.

There is a work around available, if you are so keen on knowing your latest Alexa rank, at least until the toolbar and widgets start displaying new ranks. It takes a couple of minutes but worth the wait, if Alexa rank matters so much to you.

Get your latest Alexa Rank

The only updated rank data, that is available right now (using the new algorithm?) publicly, is their Top 1 million sites list. This is available for download as a Comma-Separated-Values (CSV) file in zipped format and can be found in the following location.
Alexa Top 1,000,000 Sites.

Once downloaded and unzipped, it can be opened in your favorite text editor or even Wordpad. It will not open in Microsoft Excel because Excel supports only 64K rows and this file contain 1 Million! Now search for your domain name in this file and get your latest rank that is updated on a daily basis. This works for only those who are ranked up to 1 million (Others need to wait)

Should a great Alexa rank be one of your goals?

A lot of bloggers have set their 2009 objectives and goals in the past two weeks and I read in many blogs that the Alexa rank is one of their prime objectives. Please note that, the Alexa rank may not be the right criterion to assess your traffic size & quality. For that matter even Compete or other alternatives are not good enough either.

If you want to impress your stake holders (sponsors, advertisers, readers, potential buyers etc) with some realistic traffic data, share your Google Analytics or similar tracker data that can provide better KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as bounce rate, new v/s returning visitors, page views per visit, demographic data, visitor entry/exit pattern etc. However, raw data analysis tools such as awstats, webalyzer etc are not of any use either.

How can Amazon improve Alexa?

If they really want to improve Alexa ranking algorithm and its acceptance, they should make a little more disclosures about the data received on the website being ranked. i.e. Sources for collecting data, the number of visits and page views, sampling done etc. If not, it will remain a fictitious measure over which you keep brooding over.

Over to you…

  • Do you believe in the current ranking systems and Alexa in particular?
  • Is a particular Alexa rank one of your goals for 2009?

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