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Ranking FAQ

The rankings on this page are provided by Alexa.com, are up to date according to data available through Alexa as of this moment.  These are provided only for the purposes of rank comparison between quality recognized sites.  We encourage you to visit Alexa for yourself and find out who is doing what on the Internet today 

Sites mentioned are recognized leaders in their respective industries and represent quality content from quality organizations.  

What does ranking mean?

Ranking is the process of assigning a number that identifies sites on the WWW in order of popularity.  It is similar to when schools assign a rank according to grade point average for each graduating class.  If you class rank is "1", then you have the top grades in the class.

On the WWW, the smaller the number, the better.  If you score "1", like Yahoo! generally does, it means that you are the most popular site on the WWW.  If your site score is a million or more, you are probably seeing very little traffic and most of that could be accidental.

Why should I care about rank?

As an advertiser, you have to know that where you put your dollars will get your name in front of the market that you want to attract.  Let's face it, anybody can say that they are popular with the public.  How would you really know?  Maybe they've had a good or bad day, week, month.  Which direction are they going?

There are many ranking and scoring services available but as far as we know, Alexa is the only one that makes their numbers available to the general public. 

Are there other ranking tools?

There are a handful of other ranking companies.  Sure, there are more comprehensive and better known sources such as Media Metrix (now Comscore), Jupiter, Netscore, and Nielsen Netratings who have wonderful graphs and query capabilities.  But at $20-30,000 per year to join, you need a serious budget to justify this kind of expenditure.

 

 

 

Is ranking the same thing as visitors?

No.  It does however, tell you how sites compare against each other according to rank.  Considering the size of the Internet and various other factors, a small difference in rank when measuring in the hundreds of thousands or millions probably isn't that big.  The closer you get to the top of the ranking however, the more that difference means.  

For instance, if your site ranks at 1 million and your competitor ranks at 2 million, you probably are not that much ahead in actual traffic.  If however, your site ranks at 15,000 and your competitor ranks at 100,000, there is probably an enormous difference.

Will advertising on a better ranked site be more effective?

Not necessarily.  You have to know your audience and the advertising has to be well placed.  What are the demographics of the audience of the site and how well do they compare to those that buy your product?  

To take it to the extreme, advertising a new sugared soft-drink on a site for teens will probably do far better than advertising it on a site that is designed for diabetic seniors.  Advertising fishing gear on a sports site will do far better than it will on a site that is dedicated to interior decorating.  Common sense is always required.

What factors may skew rankings?

Rankings are an inaccurate measurement at best.  In fact, short of monitoring where every person in the world goes online, there are no guarantees of who is doing exactly what.  Rankings can only be relied upon as indicators of performance.

Several factors may skew rankings with Alexa such as the browser of choice.  Alexa cannot monitor AOL or Netscape usage, only Microsoft Internet Explorer.  Therefore, since consumer sites are frequented by more AOL users that business sites do, the consumer sites are probably ranked a bit worse than they really are.  For the greatest accuracy, you should probably compare business sites with business sites and consumer sites with consumer sites.

Alexa may have a few less bells and whistles than the high dollar ranking companies, but they claim millions of users.  Most of the rest only work with a few thousand.  Statistically speaking, the larger the number of total users (population sample), the more reliable the results will be and the less likely that any single user or event can skew the results.

 


 

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