As cool as it would be if the Alexa being referred to here was a supermodel, it's actually Alexa, the website/ranking system and helpful toolbar that will measure a website's traffic levels. Any guess at what the current "most visited/traffic heavy" site on the internet is? If you said Myspace or Google you were close, but the answer is in fact Yahoo!
Here's a look at the top 10 most traveled sites as of today on Alexa.com:
Alexa collects information from users who have installed an "Alexa Toolbar," allowing Alexa to provide statistics on web site traffic, as well as lists of related links. It's a useful tool for you to install on your internet browser because as you visit sites you will see their Alexa rank displayed in the lower right hand corner of your browser window.
(Food for thought: Keeping an eye on sites that are moving up rapidly in traffic and jumping on the bandwagon makes sense. Facebook has been in the news lately and is being said to continue to increase in its popularity. It is making its user profiles public as well, which means search engine traffic. Facebook also allows RSS feeds and alot more great features on your profile. But more about Facebook another time...)
Alexa is a useful tool for you to install on your internet browser because as you visit sites you will see their Alexa rank displayed in the lower right hand corner of your browser window. Why is this important?
A few reasons Alexa is a great tool to use:
1) Determine other blogs/forums and sites that have a higher Alexa ranking, so that you can leave comments and your blog URL link on those that are heavily travelled. Generally leaving comments on any site under 100,000 in Alexa rank may make sense, however you may want to aim for sites that are even better, such as 50, 000 and lower in terms of their rank.
2) Be able to measure the progress of your own site or blog's Alexa ranking. As you get your blog moving and get it more popularity and traffic, you'll be able to use the positive reinforcement to see how well you've done. Seeing your Alexa rank go up will be a sign that the work your doing is paying off.
3) Helps you negotiate for advertising on your blog or site. Many top money maker experts online say the Alexa rank along with your Google rank will go a long way to helping you eventually sell advertising on your site or blog. If you get the Alexa rank up high enough, advertisers will realize you have a heavily visited site worth paying you to run their ads on. It's a great point of negotiation and price setting for advertisements to be run on your blog or website.
Alexa determines a site's Alexa traffic ranking based on the following:
"Alexa's traffic rankings are based on the usage patterns of Alexa Toolbar users over a rolling 3 month period. A site's ranking is based on a combined measure of reach and pageviews. Reach is determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single pageview. The site with the highest combination of users and pageviews is ranked #1."
Alexa's Sparky toolbar is a free download available here. It will not interfere with your web browsing and you can look to the bottom right hand corner of your browser for a small chart and traffic rank as you visit websites. After getting it for yourself, why not promote it to your blog readers, so that as they return tor your blog or site Alexa can record their visits and help your ranking? Install the Alexa toolbar today and keep an eye on your site as well as other sites to see just how much traffic their are getting online.