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Thursday, 26 April 2007

The Ultimate Alexa Redirect Experiment: Results are in!

Last Tuesday I started The Ultimate Alexa redirect Experiment. At last the results are here! We were trying to find out if having people visit your site via the Alexa redirect (http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://matt608.blogspot.com) actually increases Alexa ranking like so many blogs claim it does.

The Data:
Remember this is blog science so I'm not about to calculate the standard deviation! There are far too many sources of error, (which I will outline), for that to be of any use. At first glance it may look like there was too little data to work with, but all is not as it may seem...

At the beginning of the Experiment Successful online money making ! had an Alexa rank of:

251,591. It has now risen by 31,550 to
220,041

There were a total of just 23 clicks of the redirect I placed with on this blog as part of the experiment. Thankfully Mybloglog came to the rescue!. I used a redirect to send people from Mybloglog to here. I only use free mybloglog stats which record the last 7 days of activity, rather than the 9 days that the experiment ran for. However, the chances are that the some of the people who visited via Mybloglog clicked the redirect again here, and voted that they did so (it has no effect to click it twice), which helps even out the odds.

There were 37 clicks on the Mybloglog redirect.
There were 23 clicks on the on-site redirect
Making 50 total clicks!

Overview
- Put simply, it all 'averages out' and 50 redirect clicks is a pretty accurate figure.
- Before the experiment started this sites Alexa ranking and stopped increasing, it had formed a plateau.
- Traffic had actually decreased early on in the experiment (I failed to post daily) but I doubled back up again a few days ago.

This means that on average there was less traffic during the experiment than before when the Alexa ranking had stopped increasing. Despite this, the Alexa rank increased a noticeable amount. The traffic increased (up to the same amount as before) due to my post called What the Ancient Egyptians taught me about blogging. Alexa Viewbar users tend to be more numerous in tech sites, and so this burst of users are unlikely to be the cause of the increase in Alexa rankings.



Above is a screenshot of the Alexa 'reach' graph for this site. The big red arrow points to the increase in apparent reach since I started the experiment.

The Conclusion
Using the Alexa redirect does increase Alexa rankings! I am very pleased to announce this because using the Alexa redirect is so simple! There have been so may posts containing ‘Alexa tips’ that have no proof that they actually work; well, now we do!

What can we draw from all this?
What this does show is how easy it is to manipulate the Alexa rankings. This isn't an 'black hat' technique, Alexa have not said they disapprove of this. If anything, using the Alexa redirect is sending them more data, which they must like. If you are glad to hear this news then go ahead and make the most of it. I know I will be.

4 comments:

Geoffrey Mack said...

Matt, don't delude yourself or your readers. The redirect doesn't do anything to your rank. The rank is based on one thing only: logs from toolbar usage. I should know, I am the product manager at Alexa.

Why did your rank improve? Your article prompted a lot of people with toolbars to visit your site. It is that simple.

Don't use our redirect. It causes load on our machines for no purpose whatsoever.

matt608 said...

Thanks for your imput geoffry, what is the redirect for? - Does it have a purpose?

Kaloyan said...

A better option is to make the Alexa redirecting JavaScript-powered: in this way
the HTML will not be modified, and the redirects will still work. I’ve applied
this technique to a new plugin called Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress
plugin
. If you are interested about it, visit this URL to learn more
about it:

http://kaloyan.info/blog/better-alexa-redirect-plugin/

or visit this page to download it:

http://wp-alexa-redirect.googlecode.com/

Anonymous said...

Alexa.com is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. It is a website which provides information on traffic levels for websites. The Alexa rank is measured according to the amount of users who’ve visited a website with the Alexa toolbar installed. Alexa toolbar is an application developed by Alexa Internet. Its primary use is to measure website statistics. This toolbar collects as well as gives some valuable information. Once you install it, the Alexa toolbar monitors all your surfing and collects information about what domains you visit. They use this data to rank web sites. The traffic rank they assign to websites is based on 3 months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of other users and is a combined measure of page views and users. Webmasters, advertisers and ad networks use your blog’s Alexa rank as a gauge to determine the worth of a link on your website. If you depend on link or site selling as a form of monetization you’ll definitely want to increase your Alexa rank, because it’ll increase your bargaining power when it comes to ad pricing.