Alexa is a “traffic spying tool” used almost exclusively by web savvy tech professionals to see how much traffic a particular site is receiving. Until recently, Alexa gathered their data exclusively from an optional toolbar which at first could only be installed in Microsoft’s Browser, Internet Explorer.
So, when a web savvy tech professional would visit a web site, the firs thing they would do is look in their Alexa toolbar to see how the web site was doing. The problem with this is that the toolbar would only measure traffic to the site with toolbar installed. So, if your audience wasn’t tech savvy and didn’t have the toolbar installed, your Alexa ranking suffered… sometimes greatly.
So this morning, Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger announced the change in the way Alexa computes its rankings. You can read the Alexa Press Release here.
Amit Bhawani did some research to find out how the change has affected some of the big blogs on the internet and found many blogs rankings dropped dramatically. According to ShaMoneyMaker, the impact will be felt most by those who do paid reviews.
For those of us who write for a non-technical audience, we have seen a drop (which is good) in our Alexa rankings. For those whose focus is on the technical web audience, there is no joy in this anouncement.
I have to wonder what the REAL reason is behind the switch at Alexa. Could it be that Compete.com is putting pressure on Alexa? Then again, Alexa is an Amazon creation… and things have been pretty messed up over at Amazon.
Maybe this is evidence that things aren’t going well inside the hallowed halls at Amazon….