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Alexa Scared of Compete and Quantcast Changes Ranking Model
Ranking service Alexa has decided that their old ranking system was garbage and they have launched a new one today! Rejoice fellow patrons of the Internet! Alexa has a news bulletin that you should all read (seriously) about how their rankings have changed. Basically they state that users have asked over the past couple of months for more than just Alexa toolbars for ranking purposes. I guess they don’t read CN nor any of my emails to them since 2000-2001, they would have seen that request way earlier on, and certainly before they dropped in importance. Will these ranking changes bring Alexa back as a ranking leader? As much as I would like to say yes, we will need to see progress over time.
I’d like to see Alexa stand up and state what the sources they are using to rank sites.
Compete and Quantcast appear to be eating Alexa’s lunch as both services are offering more than just a ratings service. For example, Compete regularly provides industry analysis. The truth is that every single rankings service is semi-accurate, none of them should be taken as a final measure.
Some examples of the shifts:
- CenterNetworks lost 50,000 spots – the biggest drop I’ve seen so far
- AlleyInsider kept their ranking
- Techcrunch dropped about 400 spots
- Mashable seemed to pick up a few spots
- ReadWriteWeb kept their ranking
If you are a media buyer and you are making decisions solely based on an Alexa chart (I know you are out there, I’ve seen it), you deserve to lose your shirt. And if any Web agency pitches you on a media buy and shows Alexa charts, fire them immediately. No single ratings source should be used for a media buy, especially not today in this social media world. Check out my article on why you should never bring Alexa to a fight.
Update: It also looks like Alexa has removed the 125 pixel ads they were selling and replaced them with traditional run-of-network banners. I heard from a couple of advertisers in the 125 pixel ads that they were very poor performing placements. Which to be honest was a shock given how popular Alexa is – I thought the ads would do quite well.