By in Writing

Is it Worth Looking at Alexa Rankings for the Places we Write?

What is an Alexa Ranking?

An Alexa ranking is a statistical analysis done by a firm called Alexa.com . Opinion varies as to how useful this ranking is, but it can be used to compare the sites we write for against each other to get a general picture of how well or badly those sites may be doing and to compare the sites with each other. While statistics can be false and manipulated, they can give us an overall idea of what is happening. It should be remembered that while Alexa updates its rankings daily, the statistics are based on the performance of the last three months of a site.

Unique Visitors and Page Views

An Alexa ranking includes unique visitors and page views. A unique visitor is a visitor to the site. If the visitor returns to the site that day, then the second and subsequent views are not counted. The same may be said of page views. Page views to a page made by a particular person on a particular day are only counted once no matter how many times you return to the same article. You will not help a site raise its ranking by continually returning to view the site on any given day. What Alexa does is analyse the behaviour of your browser and use that to accumulate the statistics it produces about a site. The aim of Alexa is to produce data as accurately as they can about the number of unique visitors and page views to each site and then to place this into a ranking. The site with the most unique views and page views is therefore ranked as number one and so on.

Criticisms of Alexa Rankings

One criticism of Alexa ranking is that it only includes the metrics of those sites who have installed the Alexa toolbar. This is not now true. If you read the Alexa Blog you will see that other things are now taken into consideration. An Alexa ranking is an estimate. The data collected is used to make a prediction. Alexa are clear that their most accurate data will be produced for the higher level sites and that the data produced for lower level sites may fluctuate wildly. The best statistics are produced for the top 1,000,000. There are those who are not impressed by an Alexa ranking.

My Personal view concerning Alexa rankings

I personally think that if we take into account the history or a particular site we write on and bear that in mind, we can use the Alexa ranking as a comparison for the sites we write on. It will not tell us everything, but it may tell us who is doing well and who is getting better. These are anyway, imprecise definitions, so the figures themselves do not matter much except as a rough guide. I do not want to know, for example, if Persona Paper is number one website in the world, I want to know if it is improving and if it is doing as well as its competitors. what I look for is to see if there has been an increase in unique views and page views for the site itself. I know they are reliable, I trust Persona Paper to pay me and I wanted a site with a moderated standard and people who not only run the site, but take an interest in the writers who contribute to it. Alexa does not measure those things.

Alexa cannot tell how well we personally may do on a site like Persona Paper because that depends on other things such as our own behaviour on the site. how many posts and comments we get paid for and our own interaction. I am doing far better here on Paper Persona than on Hubpages as I really dislike writing hubs and so I earn more here and I also like the community better.

You can do well personally on a small site with a poor Alexa ranking due to your own behaviour on the site as long as the owners are like those on Persona Paper seem to be, honest and pay you. Choosing a site on Alexa rankings is not enough. It might suggest you will get more views for your articles, but that does not always happen on an individual basis. Some people get more views than others wherever they go, just because they have built up a popular following.

Check the Alexa results for yourself

It is easy enough to use an add on with your browser that will tell you what the Alexa ranking for site is. You can also go to Alexa.com and type in the web addresses of the various sites yourself. I have not linked to them here out of fairness to Persona Paper. They are, after all, the competition!

From my Browser today: Alexa Rankings relevant to Persona Paper

Here is a run down from my browser today. Reading from the top level domain (the front page of the site.) In other words I typed in http://www.personapaper.com and so on.

Persona's own ranking on Alexa and why it should not be looked at in isolation

Before I begin let's look at Persona Paper's ranking.

Persona Paper 368473

This may look low but think of the site age compared to some of the bigger contenders. Hub pages has been around for a long time and Persona Paper has not. Cgp gallery has very few posts at the moment and nobody has been paid. An alexa rank might give you a rough estimate of visitors to a site, but it is no guarantee of integrity, money in the bank or the presence or absence of site owners.

What happens to a site internally is more important than what happens externally.) We might for example, conclude that CPG gallery is doing well until we know that it currently seems to be in trouble. Hubpages as the oldest site has had more time to gather people interested in viewing what is on the site and Bubblews is recovering from their catastrophic misjudgment concerning payments which came to light in January this year. Best Writers may be a good site, but it is new and so could hardly be expected to compete with Bubblews or Hubpages as yet. However, we can see that Hubpages and Bubblews are still the major sites, but that Hubpages is dong better then Bubblews. My Kites seems to be doing better than expected, but what of the quality of the writing? Can you really compare a quick 100 word kite to a carefully crafted Hubpages hub? Does that 100 words ever compare with the standard here at Paper Persona? Before you make assumptions about any site look at the history and also at what people are saying about it at present. Big is not always the most beautiful on tbe Internet, as Bubblews proved when they found they had all their false members. A smaller site is easier to control and probably, if the foundation is good, less prone to fraud. I have not included Triond as it seems to be a series of sites so I would have to find and look at each one individually.

Alexa Rankings for Sites Relevant to Paper Persona: Table

Hubpages 890
Bubblews 5741
Wikinut 47234
Daily Two Cents 59466
Wizzley 115641
Writedge 115886
Cgp Gallery 129638
MyKites 207318
Zujava 322034
Persona Paper 368473
Post any 679771
Best Writers 1166750
gyymmysworld

5415415

My Conclusion based on the Alexa rankings

I am pretty happy with Persona Paper. It may not be the best ranking, but it is all the other things that an Alexa ranking cannot tell me that make Persona Paper a good place to write. I would like to see the ranking increase as that means more people reading our articles and also joining the site, but we will see this happen over time as we continue to write quality articles and promote them. Promotion is always key and so sharing to social media and wherever we can; (ever thought of putting a link in your email?) will be the way forward to putting this site on a level with the top players and if we go on as we are, the reputation of the site will not, like some with more views, be tarnished.

Image credit:Pixabay


Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/statistics-chart-graphic-bar-76198/ by geralt

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Comments

trufflehunter wrote on March 19, 2015, 11:09 AM

Surprisingly Bubblews still ranks quite high. Thank you for this comprehensive and informative article!

MaeLou wrote on March 19, 2015, 11:46 AM

I think the fact that we actually screen our members before they can join is a reason for a lower Alexa rating. One might want to consider the countries that the sites predominately get though, too. Bubblews doesn't even mention US members because the majority of their views and members are coming from India. We also have a better ranking than cgpgallery in the US. Dailytwocents is expected to be better than us in ranking since they've been around longer though.

Last Edited: March 19, 2015, 11:47 AM

HappyLady wrote on March 19, 2015, 12:02 PM

That is really interesting. I think Persona will outlive many of the others because it addresses problems and learns from the other sites mistakes. With screening it means you can rest assured you are in a proper community of writers too. It I'd a place we can learn and grow together.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on March 19, 2015, 2:51 PM

I agree that Alexa rank can be an important tool, but can't tell you everything. Good traffic is one thing. How that traffic is managed is another. Is the site monetized well? Are the finances handled well? Are the writers paid on time or at all? What are they promised and are those promises reasonable? There are so many things to consider. Good job on the research.

cmoneyspinner wrote on March 19, 2015, 5:11 PM

Great article. Taught me something about Alexa and you named some writing sites I never heard of. Thanks!

RonElFran wrote on March 19, 2015, 5:58 PM

My take on Alexa rankings is that while they may not be precisely accurate, hopefully they give a good indication of how sites rate relative to one another. Like you, I hope PP moves up.

BarbRad wrote on March 20, 2015, 5:00 AM

I'm too tired to take in all those statistics tonight, so I'll take your word for it. I have never considered Alexa a great authority anyway.

HappyLady wrote on March 20, 2015, 6:18 AM

I can understand that! Looking at the statistics tired me out!

crowntower wrote on March 20, 2015, 4:02 PM

Wow you really take time in viewing all this ranking for each site. I guess staying at persona is better than staying in any other sites that has no guarantee that can protect all of its member. While Hub Pages is a site wherein I think the professional bloggers go... Lol! I am still thankful that I am here at persona paper. God bless.