Alexa is an online tool used by many to guage how their website ranks against others on the worldwide web. To understand how important a page rank is, fistly we need to understand how it works.
Alexa has it’s own toolbar which users install into their browsers, then when people with this toolbar installed visit a site, Alexa can then pick up details of traffic for the site that that browser visits.
There are many issues with this method of data collection, but the primary problem is that not everyone in the world has, or ever will, install the Alexa toolbar. This leaves the majority of the worldwide demographic site visits un metered.
So who would install the Alexa toolbar? Well, people like me, geeks. Anyone who is involved in the Internet industry will have it installed on their browser to help them work out how the site their looking at or working on is ranked by Alexa.
My Gran, for example, when she’s shopping online for a new cross stitch kit has no interest in what Alexa has to say about the sites she’s visiting, who Alexa are, what jumpers I actually want to wear on Christmas Day or how to make custard that’s not lumpy.
All the sites my Gran visits, and my parents for that matter, the majority of every major blue chip company in the world with network lock downs on software applications and people with no interest in web development. Leaving a pretty small demographic. People like me, and I’m guessing like you because you’re reading this article, and the rest of the internet development community worldwide.
This leaves only one conclusion: The Alexa Rank of a site is a rough indication of traffic from individuals with an interest in web development, world wide.
My personal opinion is that it’s a great yard stick on most sites and a slightly better yard stick on a site like 101bestwebsites.com; a lot of the people visiting this site might well have a good interest and understanding of the web.