I usually start my day by opening Thunderbird to check my emails and my website to check the comments that are awaiting moderation. I have installed some rank checkers in the Firefox status bar that display the Pagerank, Alexa rank and Compete rank of the active website and I realized that the Alexa rank for Ghacks got almost cut in half from 15500 to 9000 in one day. I first thought this was an error of some kind but it apparently was not.
I went to Alexa to check the ranking and they have an announcement on their website that they did change the algorithm that calculates their rankings. I never dreamed of making it into the first 10K websites in the world and although Alexa was never more than a nice to look at figure, it is still something one can be proud of. The new rankings are apparently taking additional sources into consideration which was always the main criticism that Alexa was facing.
The old system solely relied on the Alexa Toolbar and websites that had lots of webmasters as visitors, who predominantly had that toolbar installed, had a good Alexa ranking because of this even if their traffic level was way below that of other websites.
Did you experience a change in your Alexa rank if you are a webmaster and monitor it ?
Update: The Alexa rank, along with ranks from services like Compete, do not rely on first party data to compute the website rankings. That's a big issue that affects the service's accuracy. While it is nice to have a low Alexa ranking, it is nothing that one can be particularly proud of.
The rank still can act as an indicator of a website's popularity on the Internet, but it should never play a role when buying or selling websites.
Some companies use it on the other hand to get a rough estimation as to how popular a domain really is. It needs to be noted though that the Alexa rank can be easily faked. All you have to do is pay a couple of Dollars to users on sites such as Fiver who offer that service.
You will notice big ranking drops on Alexa once you hire them, but those are usually only temporarily unless you pay them regularly to improve the ranking of a site.
If you are in the business of buying websites, you need to take that fact into consideration as sellers may be inclined to pay five or ten Dollars to artificially increase the ranking of their site before they sell it.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.