Definition of Alexa Traffic & how ranks are determined

Alexa traffic ranks can be defined as the measure of popularity quotient of a site, in comparison to other websites.

It’s derived on the basis of a global data bar which is installed as plug-in or browser extension. This bar works to gather data regarding browsing behavior of all online users. This collected data is then utilized to get an estimate of sum of visitors on all studied online sites. Now, since the estimate gathered here is relative, the rank of a site depends not just on its traffic- yet also on the change of traffic in other websites.

Alexa traffic ranks

Here goes an example on how data are presented on the Alexa site.

Additional information isn’t shown here, such as Total Sites Linked In, Top Keywords found from the search engines and Audience Geography.

The Alexa traffic ranks presented by Alexa has its basis on traffic data that are assorted from users who have been using the global data bar of Alexa for 3 months straight. These ranks are always updated daily. The rank of a site is determined on the basis of a blended measure of Pageviews and Unique Visitors.

Unique Visitors can be referred to the volume of those unique users on Alexa toolbar that visit a website on some specific day. On the other hand, Pageviews refer total volume of users on Alexa panel who made a URL request for a website. It’s to note, if there are more than one page requests from one users for one URL & on same day, it will be counted as single Pageview.

Alexa estimates average of pageviews and daily visitors every day for each site for the last three months. The website which experiences biggest combo of pageviews and visitors over the last three months is positioned at #1 rank. The website that experiences the least combination, sits at something like 30 million. If a site is not getting visitors since the last 3 months, it won’t have an Alexa rank.

The Alexa traffic ranks are deployed for high end domains strictly (such It takes around twenty-one days for gathering sufficient days for ranking a site properly. Alexa publishes its list on “Top 500 Web site” right at TopSites.


  • Alexa measure can be used as comparison tool for getting an idea on your site’s position compared to that of your competitors
  • Utilized by advertisers for understanding a site’s marketing potential
  • Websites showing top Alexa rank would usually earn higher bids & more offers from advertisers looking ad space to place their advertisements
  • Blogs or personal pages are ranked just like any regular website
  • Alexa ranking even extends data matrix regarding your site that can be used for better Search Engine Optimization


  • Alexa traffic is vulnerable to easy manipulation. Thus, anybody may claim your site’s Alexa rank is not showing the real value or position of the site
  • Not every one uses Alexa toolbar. Thus, this rank can’t be counted for several sites that receive high traffic volume which isn’t from the Alexa users. In fact, it may even confer low rank (good value) to such sites which don’t echo their true value
  • Overall traffic calculation is mostly limited to high levels domains. Sub pages or sub domains aren’t ranked separately

Amount of visitors visiting a site & Alexa traffic ranks

Here goes an example on how to plot amount of visitors visiting a site Vs. the rank.

As you can see, the upper part of the graph shows a large sum of visitors & hence has been ranked at #1. Here you will find sites like Facebook, YouTube, Google etc.

Look at the tail of the graph. You will find site with very little or no Alexa traffic.

In fact, minor changes in visitor number of a site on long tail leads to huge changes in ranks.

Is Alexa traffic ranks accurate?

Alexa ranking gets calculated based on data only from those users that have the platform’s data panel. So, the data here may not always reflect the accurate traffic  of a site. It’s not uncommon for a website to show top Alexa rank (yet low value) whilst not having a higher traffic flow compared to websites with lower rank yet way higher volumes. Besides, the data given by Alexa are just an estimate & not always fully accurate regarding sites with less visitors.

As per Alexa blog, sites that encounter less than thousand visitors monthly are tough to gauge. Closer a website can get to #1, more credible its ranking will be. Sites which are ranked under 100,000, are supposed to have more reliable and more accurate ranking value.

Moz has checked Accuracy of twelve Traffic Prediction services as well as their  way of estimating  a site’s traffic.

The results revealed these services aren’t exactly doing a fine job. Alexa stood 6th in the category of data accuracy/quality:

  • Spearman’s Correlation with Actual Traffic- 0.702
    • Data coverage-100%
  • Standard Error- 0.0607

Meaning of Metrics:

  • Spearman’s enables us to understand the degree of rise & fall of actual traffic and how well corresponding metric goes lower/higher
  • Coverage is crucial since it shows the frequency of real data of sites provided by the services we checked out
  • It’s a type of standard error regarding correlation numbers that helps to provide an understanding of variance

Moz got the 7th rank in this study whilst it wasn’t even gauging web traffic.

Alexa traffic ranks versus metrics of Page SEO

SEO metrics are required when you have to understand webpage quality. Google PR (Page Rank) was widely used but it hadn’t been updated since 2013. As of now, the most dominant metrics are:

  • MozRank, PA (Page Authority) and DA (Domain Authority)
  • Ahrefs, UR (URL Rating) and DR (Domain Rating)
  • Majestic, TF (Trust Flow) and CF (Citation Flow)

Now, each of these comes with its respective strengths and weak points. Each of them has been scaled from say 1 to 100. It’s to note here, these metrics mostly are calculated based on social signals, backlinks data, referring domains & not much really from the traffic data.

Yes, these are not same as Alexa since the latter mostly stresses on traffic.

In regards to any other metric like Page Rank, it’s viable for a site to show high rank while having little traffic.

Now, how do they manage high metrics? Well, it’s mostly through inbound links & not exactly through actual visitors traffic. In fact, you may even find sites with PR5/PR6 not getting much traffic. In such cases, Alexa is always better as it signals traffic is coming to sites.

However, the smartest thing here could be to correlate the Alexa traffic with page rank. In case, you see high SEO metrics, expect lower Alexa rank.

Now, there remains a question. What if the optimum volume of traffic isn’t deriving from the Alexa users? This is why, it’s better see lower Alexa rank. When I encounter a site with high rank from Alexa, I don’t get into any final conclusion regarding site traffic.

Here is a summary of Alexa rank in correlation to the metrics:

  • High metrics & Low rank from Alexa: great correlation for a SEO-strong website
  • High metrics & High rank from Alexa : no confirmation whether the website has weak SEO or low traffic
  • Low metrics & High rank from Alexa: great correlation for a SEO-weak website
  • Low metrics & Low rank from Alexa : most probably a manipulated website

Is Alexa traffic ranks getting excessive weight?

Based on the discussion above, it can be said that Alexa ranking has its own limitations & data aren’t correct always- nor that can confirm actual position of a site. However, several marketing professionals prefer the traffic measure offered by Alexa. If you ask me, I have seen usage of Alexa ranking for filtering sites prior to getting comments or sending outreach mails. While Alexa ranking is important but for best answers, pair it with other metrics too.

Certified Alexa Metrics

Alexa extends on-site analytics termed as Certified website Metrics. The data here are directly gauged from your site & not estimated. It’s something in the light of Google Analytics yet less powerful. It offers a comparatively better accurate Alexa Ranking, reports, tracking & better control on what are being displayed publicly. However, this service is not available for free. You will receive website analysis & research tools but the level of service and access will be based on your specific registration plan.

How to utilize rank data of Alexa?

There are some ways to utilize Alexa data (not to forget accuracy limitation)

  1. Find out leaders of your specific niche. These numbers will offer a rough idea on leading sites
  2. Estimate amount of visitors for the niche. It will help to gauge amount of traffic you can expect
  3. Get idea about competitors & your position in the competition
  4. Advertisers and marketers utilize Alexa as traffic gauging tool

Alexa traffic ranks


  1. Register your site

Claiming or registering your website is free of charge. It allows you to keep contact information and site description updated. This way, it eliminates worries of missing out on possible business deals from millions who hit Alexa each month.

The free service further enables one to edit site listing data, get stats as well as track ranking conveniently. It won’t have any effect on your site rank.

  1. Install the Alexa Widget

Although Alexa says it won’t affect ranking, yet installation of Alexa widget has already shown amazing improvements in ranking. We believe this installation can enhance Alexa ranking by a great extent for a site. It’s because, when each visitor will download this widget simply while browsing, it will be counted as an Alexa visit. You can check out Alexa Widget. for instructions on adding the widgets. These widgets don’t support the https URL. In case you a CMS such as WordPress, you will get free plugins such as this one.

Alexa Widgets come in 2 types: your website’s Alexa ranking with “Sites Linking” and another one without the “Sites Linking”.

  1. Installation of Alexa toolbar in your browser

More numbers of Alexa toolbar clients (read users) hit your site, higher will be your ranking. Download & install the toolbar in your browser & check the status of your site on the toolbar. It’s to note, Alexa rank is related directly to traffic that’s hitting your site. Thus, more traffic equates to higher rank. You can go to Alexa free extension for Chrome or   Alexa Toolbar for Internet Explorer  for the installation.

If you are a FireFox user, you can go for SEO Status PageRank/Alexa Toolbar  add on that displays Alexa rank and Google PR for each website you visit.

  1. High quality fresh content

When it comes to enhancing site traffic & Alexa ranking, premium & updated contents packed with unique information are crucial.

Search engines & ranking firms are al

When it comes to enhancing site traffic & Alexa traffic ranks, premium & updated contents packed with unique information are crucial.

Search engines & ranking firms are always on the lookout of fresh and quality contents. Such contents will do wonders to enhance the SERP ranking of a site as well as its traffic volume. Check out  tips on getting better traffic leads.

Ways on the lookout of fresh and quality contents. Such contents will do wonders to enhance the SERP ranking of a site as well as its traffic volume.

  1. Engaging & original content

If a content is original and resourceful, readers will naturally share it on their own. It will bring new visitors to your website whom you can convert into clients. Thus, engaging content is very important. It helps to get readers involved, solve problems and hence earns interest and attention.

  1. Include links of relevant site to website

You should include highly valuable, strong & authority links to your site. But most importantly, the relevancy quotient of that link in relation to your site content is vital too. So, for example, if your website is about a fashion house, major search engines will prefer to see links from sites related to fashion industry. In this case, links from other non-related industry, say pharmacy, may raise suspicions.

  1. Traffic driving keywords

You must get a thorough & professional keyword research to find out what your targeted audience is actually looking for online from your industry. Also, check out the keywords used by your competitors. Next, focus on optimizing pages with the keywords you got from keyword research & competitor analysis. The words you choose must be easily rankable. However, if your site is new, try not to derive traffic from large volume keywords used by competitors.

  1. Improve overall site SEO

Apart from keyword research and link building, you must also stress on to understand your competitors & their specific marketing techniques:

  • improve site speed
  • using markup & rich snippets
  • B2B marketing
  • regular blogging
  • better UI (user experience)

UI is a crucial thing for search engine giants like Google. It implies easily navigable sites, clear answers for user questions, mobile-friendly responsive and fast websites. Each aspect of content, layout & speed must be addressed.

  1. Purchase Alexa Traffic

Now, all the steps mentioned above are time-consuming. When it comes to enhancing a site’s rank real quick, it’s better to purchase Alexa Traffic straight from users using Alexa data bar.

Alexa traffic rankings

Alexa traffic that you will need

To check Alexa traffic info, just go to:

A smarter approach here will be to proceed with trial & error. Just keep close check on your Alexa ranking & adjust traffic accordingly.

If your website is new, you may fast get to millions zone in couple of  months with 200 to 300 visitors a day.

If you sport a ranked site that you want to go below one million, you will want more traffic hits daily. A 20K package will be sufficient here. You may split the package for thirty days. After every 10 days, check results & reevaluate traffic that you have got. Follow the same in the following months.

In case, you want your rank below 100K, you will require 1000 traffic each day.

Converting Alexa rank to unique visitors

Now, there isn’t any strict formula for securing a great amount of unique visitors through Alexa rank- a website suggests such a graph.

The details were derived through real data of AAlexa traffic ranks & were kind of interpolated into daily average visitors. The best approximation can be found where you can see line crossing at the center of points. This graph can offer a rough estimate regarding daily unique visitors from a site’s Alexa ranking.

For example, a 100,000 rank equates to 1100 visitors a day.

I do  not find it exactly accurate yet some find it really useful.

Go to Alexa sites and find top sites. Browse by categories & find that one which fits you. Get into sub-categories & check on the sites’ Alexa rank.

You may take the above example to understand conversion of rank to unique visitors. Otherwise, check out websites with Alexa ranking below 100K. Some are utilizing this method for finding top guest blogs & sites where they can leave comments.

Using Alexa API

Alexa’s API is termed as Alexa Web Information Service. It’s an XML API that provides data about structure and traffic of sites. Developers can utilize it for displaying data on other sites, extend traffic details like Traffic Rank, Contact Info, Related Links, Site Stats and so on.

You must register first to use the API. Up to around 1,000 requests are FREE per month and then it follows a pay-as-you-go model.

Major Web Analytics Terms

There are some concepts which you must know while using the API & web traffic:

Web Analytics can be defined as the study of behavior of users on a site. It comprises of collection, measurement, analysis as well as report of website data. And all these help one to understand & optimize website usage.

  • Bounce rate: Percentage of visitors on a specific page who chose to navigate away after viewing just one page. Higher Bounce rate  implies visitors are leaving your site too early. You should aim for lower Bounce Rate.
  • Impression: It’s the amount of times users were exposed to certain specific content. It can be anything on webpage, ranging from ads or result of search engine.
  • Conversion rate: It refers to the user percentage who has taken a desired course of action on the website. Higher your conversion rate is, more success you will experience with the desired action.
  • Page Hit: Request to website server for file such as image, web page, cssfile etc.
  • Visitor: One who visits a site.
  • Unique Visitor: A unique individual or user who sends request for pages from site during a certain period.
  • Visits: Amount of time a website has been visited by both Unique & non-unique users.
  • Pageviews: amount of users who are visiting a specific page on some website
  • Pageviews per visit: Average quantity of pages viewed on each visit during a definite time-period.

Final words

It can be little confusing to understand Alexa traffic ranks initially. The measurement works mostly for traffic- yet- at times it receives more weight.

These tips given here will be handy to raise the Alexa rank of your site. It’s not simple to gauge the required Alexa traffic ranking for a website. Thus, it’s better to proceed with  experimentation so that you can have a fair idea of the required ranking traffic gradually.

Related Article: How to Earn More Leads with Website Traffic?