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Increase your Alexa Rank

What is Alexa?

According to their

"Alexa Internet grew out of a vision of Web navigation that is intelligent and constantly improving with the participation of its users. Along the way Alexa has developed an installed based of millions of toolbars, one of the largest Web crawls and an infrastructure to process and serve massive amounts of data. For users of Alexa's Toolbar and web site this has resulted in products that have revolutionized Web navigation and intelligence. For developers this has resulted in a set of tools unprecedented in scope allowing whole new services to be created on the Alexa data and platform."


Most people use Alexa to see how their site stacks up against all of the other sites on the internet. Unfortunately, Alexa's stats are not statistically reliable (at least from a pure statistics point of view). The sample that they use to determine the rankings is hardly based on a random population (and is lacks reliability in terms of normality). Instead, the rankings are only from those people who are surfing the internet who have the Alexa toolbar installed.

The toolbar itself is often classified as spyware - and probably rightfully so. It is not malware (which is a program that is designed to harm your system), but it does keep track of where you go (that is how it gathers the statistics). For this reason, a lot of people who might have been inclined to install the program on their computers, uninstalled it at the direction of a spyware checker.

Although I am not completely convinced that there is usefulness and validity to the rankings, I do not perceive the toolbar as being bad (and I am one of those guys who really doesn't like toolbars). Alexa toolbar does add an additional layer of popup protection (sometimes catching popups that got by Google toolbar), and it does give you an indication of similar sites - which is sometimes helpful.

According to Alexa,

"The Alexa Toolbar is a free search and navigation companion that accompanies you as you surf, providing useful information about the sites you visit without interrupting your Web browsing.

  • Get rid of those annoying popup ads.
  • Search the Web and other resources directly from your toolbar.
  • Learn about Web sites including traffic information and contact info.
  • Surf more efficiently with Related Links for each page.
  • Share opinions about sites with other users. "
So, how does it work?

When you buy a new domain name and build a basic page, if you go to Alexa to look up your site, it will be listed with "no data". There are a couple of ways to fix this. First, Alexa has a link to "Correct errors and omissions in this listing." This gives you the opportunity to get your site's thumbnail image added to their directory, and to put directory information (like name, company name, address, phone numbers). The big thing is that it is your way of letting Alexa know you exist.


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The next thing you can do is to install the Alexa Toolbar and surf your site. At one point, I installed the toolbar for a couple of days (when I was trying it out), and I was also designing a new site. After just a couple of days of designing the site (and checking the design on the internet), I noticed that the ranking went from "no data" to being ranked in the 5,000,000 mark, to having a rank in the top 400,000. I couldn't figure out what made that site so special that it got picked up that quickly (and did not make the connection that because I was visiting the site, it was going up). I looked at the site's statistics, and the site only had a handful of unique visitors (with me and the site owners being the most common visitors). I finally realized that one person can make a difference (at least getting the site out of the "millions"). In some ways, that demonstrates that the toolbar stats are not psychometrically valid (and somewhere on Alexa's site, I have heard that they say something to that effect. Nevertheless, there are people who put a lot of value in it, and it is nice to have a good ranking (for comparison purposes).

Alexa Links

Alexa also has a service to spider your site and analyze your links. It is worthwhile to do to get your full site listed in Alexa.

Increasing your Alexa Rank Even More

So, you want you your rank even higher? Well, the best way is to get visitors to your site who are using the Alexa Toolbar. Of course, you can't force them to use the toolbar (and it is probably not proper etiquette to ask people to download and use it), but that is the best way (so, I guess you have to decide how important a good ranking is).

Alexa Communities

Something else you can do is join an Alexa Community (that is my name for it). These are groups of people who surf each other's sites while running the toolbar. The principle is simple: If I surf 25 sites, I will get 25 visits. Most of these have no costs involved - in fact, right now, I don't know of any that do have costs.

Two that I have reviewed are and

AlexaSurf has been around for awhile (UpMyRank is a little newer). With AlexaSurf, you go to their website, create an account, and start surfing. For every credit you surf, you get one visit that you can assign to a site of your choice. You can put a lot of different pages and domains (if you want) and spread your visits out among these. When you are surfing on AlexaSurf, you can minimize the browsers and surf away without being bothered. You can run it all night long, if you choose. You earn 1 visit for every 30 seconds of surfing. At that pace, you can earn 2 every minute, 120 every hour and 2,880 per day. In reality, the amount of real visits tends to be closer to 200 per day (because there is a problem with their script that can allow someone to earn credits without visiting the site - I have written them about the problem). Still, the results are pretty good. If you look at the Alexa traffic stats for CCFDesign, you can see when I started using AlexaSurf - in the middle of December. is a fairly new site (with a similar concept). It does not use internet explorer, but uses a program you have to install. You can only promote one site (and one page), but it does have a certain affiliate aspect to it (where you can earn credits based on the number of credits earned by people you refer). With UpMyRank, you can completely minimize the program to your tray, so it can be less obtrusive on your windows taskbar.

Increase Website Visits

Will this increase my website visits? Well, yes, but it is somewhat artificial because most of the people who are surfing in this nature are not actually looking at the web pages that appear (they are just earning credits so that their site gets surfed). It is real website traffic, though. I do look at a bunch of them (more out of curiosity than anything else). Certainly, they are not targeted visitors and I wouldn't count on them for sales, but a wise sage once told me, "Visits are visits."
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