Alexa Rank

Definition

Alexa Rank is the position of a given domain among all domains in descending traffic order. I.e. Alexa Rank 1 means the most visited domain (google.com at the time of writing), while Alexa Rank 175 (godaddy.com at the moment) means that this domain is the 175th most visited website on Earth.

The “most visited” term is not a simple user count but the rank is calculated from visitors’ country, the average time spent on the site, etc.

The top Alexa Rank is 1, the bottom is 20 million, although there are more than 20 million domains having some traffic.

Usage

The original purpose of Alexa Rank is to measure how popular a website is. For domainers, it is somewhat different, because one doesn’t expect valuable content on expiring domains. A good Alexa rank (less than 1 million) for an expiring domain is rare, having any Alexa rank can be a sign of a valuable domain.

The main purpose of checking Alexa Rank for a domainer is to get information about the traffic of a domain. The lower is the rank, the higher is the traffic. If a domain has no Alexa Rank, it has no or low traffic.

It is very common to use Alexa Rank as a filter for SEO or traffic domains. If a domain has quality backlinks, it is expected to have an Alexa Rank. Also, highest quality one and two word domains with considerable type-in traffic should have a rank higher than 0, as well as typos of popular websites.

Availability

Alexa Rank is freely available on alexa.com for end users. A data sheet for a given domain can be accessed on an url like this: https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/domainname.ext

The list of the top 1 million can be downloaded from: http://s3.amazonaws.com/alexa-static/top-1m.csv.zip

Alexa data are also available via API. 

A simple curl example to check Alexa Rank and number of external links by Alexa for godaddy.com (needs your own, working API key from Alexa Web Information Service):

curl -H "x-api-key: JcdRdfgjer%/=1iYcC18CDQ56Bv0dYCP2" "https://awis.api.alexa.com/api?Action=UrlInfo&Count=10&ResponseGroup=Rank,LinksInCount&Start=1&Url=godaddy.com"

Bulk checking domains for Alexa rank can be expensive, see the table below for API pricing.

 Number of checked domains/month   Price per domain 
0-1 000 $0
1 001-100 000 $0.0036
100 001-1 000 000 $0.0018
1 000 001+ $0.0003

Considering 200 000 domains a day for checking all daily expiring domains, the monthly cost is well above $1000/mo.

Reliability

The reliability of Alexa Rank is limited, especially in the lower traffic region.

  • Alexa gets most of the data from Alexa browser toolbar. Since it has to be installed by the user, it is not an optimal representation of the World population, therefore data is somewhat biased. E.g. websites in the web technology sector often have better Alexa rank than they deserve.
  • Alexa rank is easy to manipulate. E.g. a small group having the toolbar installed visiting a domain frequently (manually or automated) can result in a good Alexa rank without real traffic
  • Alexa rank is not good in filtering bot traffic, there are many domains even in Alexa top 10 000 without real, human traffic.

The reliability is getting less and less for higher ranks, because these data are extrapolated from couple of users. 

Converting Alexa Rank to Traffic

Be very careful when predicting the traffic on Alexa rank alone (check the reliability section). You can use our estimations to predict the traffic of the domain you are interested in.

 Alexa Rank   Daily Traffic 
10 000 100 000
100 000 5 000
1 000 000 500
10 000 000 20
20 000 000 5

Similar Metrics

SimilarWeb Rank is considered as the best (better) alternative to Alexa Rank.

In category: Domain Metrics
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