>Are Alexa rankings really worth it?

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A lot of folks refer me to their Alexa rankings and proudly mention how high it is rating their website. However, I am not convinced. In fact, I think Alexa rankings are not even a good estimate of usage. They are nothing but good marketing gimmicks. Here is one reason why.

To prove to the world that Alexa rankings have no meat, one of the companies that I co-founded, Cogilent Solutions, decided to prove the easy manipulation aspect of the rankings. They decided to setup an Intranet wide domain called cogilent.net. This domain is accessed by only their Islamabad office and that too by no more than 30 employees at any given day.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/cogilent.net

Over time, the ranking has improved dramatically. Currently, Alexa ranks Cogilent.net (which is not accessed by more than 30 folks a day through Intranet) ranked as high as top 12,000 most visited sites in the world. Yes, only 30 employees accessing a fixed domain for a few daily chores have made it among the top 12,000 websites in the world as of today. Either the world has stopped surfing or their ranking formula needs serious tweaking.

So as you can see, how easy it is to manipulate Alexa. Once anyone figures out how to manipulate its algorithm, it is quite easy to get the rankings to show what you like.

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