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Let's improve Alexa!


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#1 Nuno Brito

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 10:57 PM

Hello!

For those that don't know Alexa, it's a service that ranks sites according to their popularity in a worlwide scale.

At this precise moment we are positioned at #122 941 which is phenomenal but I know that we deserve much better.. :)

http://www.alexa.com...s/boot-land.net

This service is also used to measure the size of a site when compared to others and it's fun to see how our forum is growing over these last months.

Would be nice to improve our position at this ranking but the only way of contributing to the stats counting is through the use of a widget that keeps track of these popular sites.

This widget works on IE and Firefox, no Opera yet sorry. It's also likely that the ranks of other sites that you visit often will also benefit from the fact that you use this addon.

If you've decided to help, thank you!

:)

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 01:56 PM

Nobody tried it out yet? :)

#3 Galapo

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 09:58 PM

I looked but didn't try.

Interesting to see what made the "top 500".

Regards,
Galapo.

#4 TheHive

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:01 AM

Ive heard of the Alexa. Im currently using Max2 as my default browser.

#5 rawr

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 10:11 AM

:)

last i heard of this ' servace ' was in nLite options under 'remove '

as it is 'pre-installed' in wndows pre sp2/IE6
more info on the component included with windows /ie
http://www.imilly.com/alexa.htm

also with in the above link is
the option to
remove/restore alter
how/who 'Alexa' searches and how the search is formated

----

im not sure how the 'servace' Alexa provides now relates in any way to the old-ties with Microsoft

just a bit of history :)

#6 Nuno Brito

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:28 PM

Some good news related to Alexa.

For the first time on our site's history we've been placed inside the top 100 000 list and at the moment of this writing we're placed at 92,913

This means we moved up the rank 30,028 sites above the position #122,941, an improvement of 24% in 22 days.

Thank you to everyone who installed the Sparky/Alexa extension, this feels like an achieved milestone in terms of web audience and perfectly respectable for a community of our dimension.

:poke:

#7 pscEx

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 04:36 PM

Just for a fool not wanting to google or browse or whatelse, and who did not really understand the introducing post:
  • What happened here?
  • What is currently happening here?
  • How (and how does it work) can I help the WB community?
Peter

#8 Nuno Brito

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:20 PM

My fault, reading back my own post I see that this isn't clear for those not familiar with Alexa. I will try to explain.

What happened here?

Alexa is a service from Amazon that ranks sites and we are rising up in the Alexa worldwide site ranking very quickly.

What is currently happening here?

We've reached the top 100 000. An excellent ranking if we compare ourselves to the millions of sites available out there.

How (and how does it work) can I help the WB community?

This helps making boot land stand out of the crowd, outside visitors will note that the site has a good ranking which is always a good impression.

These stats are only influenced by users that install an addon at their browser. For Internet Explorer it's called "Alexa toolbar" and for Firefox it's called "Sparky".

When installing, you'll be presented with a menu to add your personal details (age, gender, etc) but this is optional and can be skipped.

To install, grab it here:
http://www.alexa.com/site/download

Alexa tries to quantify the size of websites taking into consideration the traffic affluence that can later be used to compare the popularity of different sites.

This helps the site build a better reputation as time passes and see how it is performing when compared to similar sites, a drop in the rank might mean a loss of popularity and require some thoughts regarding what can be changed to improve the quality of the site.

-------------

Of course that there also several other sites that enjoy a better position than our own without making any effort in Alexa ranking.

For example, sites/forums dedicated to web design are bound to get excellent rankings since they're mostly visited by people who already use Alexa frequently to check the rankings of the sites they develop.

Some other sites exist for years and might frequently be displayed on the first page of google searches for a specific set of popular keywords, this will also drive a lot of first time visitors to their site.

-------

Regardless Alexa, our community will certainly continue with the same good quality as we've been doing since the beginning, doesn't matter much if we are positioned at 100 000 or 1000 000 but this is a detail that shouldn't be overlooked as we can surely improve our position if more people join up.

:poke:

#9 pscEx

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:36 PM

My fault, reading back my own post I see that this isn't clear for those not familiar with Alexa. I will try to explain.


Alexa is a service from Amazon that ranks sites and we are rising up in the Alexa worldwide site ranking very quickly.

We've reached the top 100 000. An excellent ranking if we compare ourselves to the millions of sites available out there.


This helps making boot land stand out of the crowd, outside visitors will note that the site has a good ranking which is always a good impression.

These stats are only influenced by users that install an addon at their browser. For Internet Explorer it's called "Alexa toolbar" and for Firefox it's called "Sparky".

When installing, you'll be presented with a menu to add your personal details (age, gender, etc) but this is optional and can be skipped.

To install, grab it here:
http://www.alexa.com/site/download

Alexa tries to quantify the size of websites taking into consideration the traffic affluence that can later be used to compare the popularity of different sites.

This helps the site build a better reputation as time passes and see how it is performing when compared to similar sites, a drop in the rank might mean a loss of popularity and require some thoughts regarding what can be changed to improve the quality of the site.

-------------

Of course that there also several other sites that enjoy a better position than our own without making any effort in Alexa ranking.

For example, sites/forums dedicated to web design are bound to get excellent rankings since they're mostly visited by people who already use Alexa frequently to check the rankings of the sites they develop.

Some other sites exist for years and might frequently be displayed on the first page of google searches for a specific set of popular keywords, this will also drive a lot of first time visitors to their site.

-------

Regardless Alexa, our community will certainly continue with the same good quality as we've been doing since the beginning, doesn't matter much if we are positioned at 100 000 or 1000 000 but this is a detail that shouldn't be overlooked as we can surely improve our position if more people join up.

:poke:

Thanks, Nuno.
Your explanation is :poke:
Even me fool have no more questions!

(Maybe you should move it to 'Tutorials' ? :poke: )

Peter

#10 Nuno Brito

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:10 AM

Just to update status, yesterday we reached a new record: 23 772 on a global internet scale.

We are currently averaging at 69 320, thank you for making this result possible.

:exclamation:

#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:25 AM

@psc
Remember, you asked for these answers :cheers::

  • What happened here?

Several days of ordinary folly.


  • What is currently happening here?

More days of ordinary folly.

  • How (and how does it work) can I help the WB community?

You can help the Community by completely ignoring this and work on producing a better Winbuilder :exclamation: , in other words popularity derived from actual merits as opposed to popularity coming from a stoopid ranking app - am I the only one to notice that this increasing "popularity" may also be somehow connected to the DDOS's - which maybe are not real DDOS's we are having peiodically?

In any case, isn't it queer, while supposedly having too many visitors which are supposing blocking the site, to find a way (and recommend it) to supposedly increasing their number and actually be happy about this great success? :cheers:


This widget works on IE and Firefox, no Opera yet sorry.


Too bad :cheers:.
I really wanted to run a perfectly unuseful app in order to slow down a bit the fastest browser on Earth in order to help in slowing down a bit the boot-land site also.


Just to update status, yesterday we reached a new record: 23 772 on a global internet scale.

We are currently averaging at 69 320, thank you for making this result possible.


Hmm :cheers: JFYI, here is a possible logical explanation for the "jumps" forward (and back).
http://blog.alexa.co...around-the.html
here is the 2010 updated version :(
http://blog.alexa.co...alexa-rank.html

Either Alexa users need to be reminded yearly about this or there is some lack of fantasy on the side of the blog Author. :exclamation:

:exclamation:

Wonko

P.S.:
Some good OLD news:
http://slashdot.org/...23/152243.shtml
and comments:
http://slashdot.org/...37&cid=19957885

What about doing some real Alexa promotion?
Twenty easy ways:
http://www.doshdosh....our-alexa-rank/

#12 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 04:02 AM

I made a Poll:
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10586

to see if these ranking engines are more or less accurate.

:whistling:

Wonko

#13 Nuno Brito

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 04:36 AM

in other words popularity derived from actual merits as opposed to popularity coming from a stoopid ranking app

The goal is not popularity per se. The stats have actually been matching with the growth and visibility of the site due to the work that is done here, having better stats won't bring better work but will certainly allow to evaluate with some level of accuracy our position compared to other sites in a similar technology field.

If these other sites are higher placed, there is usually a good a reason for this to occur and perhaps we can learn a bit more on which details can be improved or to which sites we can start strategic connections to add more visibility and visitors to the site. (for example bootdisk.com, 4sysops, ultimatebootcd, etc).

For example, lately I find myself comparing quite often MSFN vs Boot Land on Alexa. They have better odds of being better ranked and they also have a webmaster/web developer forum section which are bound to bring higher numbers of people with Alexa installed, nevertheless, boot land is catching up and rising.

So, these are details that have relevance to keep the spirit high.

We have undoubtedly some of the most interesting discussions of earth about boot disks but it would get kind of boring to never see new faces around here and be left talking with you all day long.. :whistling:

#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:37 AM

We have undoubtedly some of the most interesting discussions of earth about boot disks but it would get kind of boring to never see new faces around here and be left talking with you all day long.. :unsure:


Yep. :huh:.

I actually would like to talk with you all day long, but unfortunately I need some time to harass psc and fight with Medevil on a daily base. :whistling:

I could set an appointment with you, let me see... next time slot would be next thursday, around 6 P.M. :cheers:, what do you think?

:cheers:

Wonko

#15 Nuno Brito

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 07:54 AM

We have surpassed MSFN for the first time in history while reaching a new record position at 21 814 on the worldwide website ranking.

Posted Image

:cheers:

#16 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:33 AM

We have surpassed MSFN for the first time in history while reaching a new record position at 21 814 on the worldwide website ranking.


Which reads as:

We have surpassed MSFN for the first time in history while reaching a new record position at 21 814 on the completely senseless worldwide website ranking calculated by Alexa.


BTW, you weren't available thursday....;)

:cheers:

Wonko

#17 Nuno Brito

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:42 AM

Yes, it's perfectly senseless to you.

But I'm happy. The server was improved and is supporting the heavy number of simultaneous visitors and we have passed in front of a giant even if just for a single day.

Not bad at all for a small community.. :cheers:

#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:11 PM

Just to point out the accuracy of the graphs:
One week:
Posted Image

One Month:
Posted Image

I won't comment the above if not to say how it is IMNSHO easier to create an accurate graphical rendering engine then collecting reliable data.

:thumbup:
Wonko

#19 paraglider

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:21 PM

And why do we care if we are ranked 21814 or 100000000?

#20 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:38 PM

And why do we care if we are ranked 21814 or 100000000?

"We" :thumbup: don't.

Wonko does not approve the use of meaningless metrics, a similar, completely wrong, approach debunked here:
http://homepage.ntlw...ess-metric.html

:)

Wonko

#21 Nuno Brito

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 04:05 PM

And why do we care if we are ranked 21814 or 100000000?

Alexa doesn't reflect site quality per se, it's an impossible task since Wonko will cherish his page about USB disks more than anything in the world but Alexa can only provide audience ranks based on people who use the addon.

Nevertheless, Alexa has been reflecting our growth in ranking since 2006 and it followed well other statistics that are gathered, so it is a valuable tool.

It's an indicator of popularity when compared to other sites in the same field, good to know how we are ranking and track how other sites are ranking as well.

Metrics are metrics, that is the reason you use other sources whenever available to build a better perspective of what is going on.

If you don't like them is fine, but they're not meaningless.

#22 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:13 PM

If you don't like them is fine, but they're not meaningless.


The point is not whether I like 'em or not.

That's your area of interest.

I claim that they are meaningless, in the sense that they have no use if not saying "look I have been ranked 21,814 by Alexa on the 12th of March 2010" (which is of course meaningless :thumbup:)

Please review the two graphics I got today.

Wait one week, when the first one won't be anymore available, and try stating from the data you will have available from Alexa that boot-land has been #21,814 (or anything above #42,000): they cannot even graph their own results!

Whenever you want to use any kind of metrics, no matter how irrelevant is the whatever you are trying to measure, you need:
  • to define a unit of measure
  • to define a method of measurement
  • to define (if needed) an acceptable tolerance
  • to make the above specifications, as well as the RAW data PUBLIC

Points #1 is in the case of Alexa a "generic" Ranking.
Points #2 to #4 are simply NON exsting.

Next step is to build up comparable historical data, for which you need a further point:
  • keep ALL of the §@ç#ing points above CONSTANT or provide a conversion method

In other words ANY meaningful metrics should be reproduceable, otherwise it is only an opinion, that may be (or may completely fail to be) authoritative.

In my personal view, what Alexa can measure indirectly is the incredible number of morons webmasters using their stupid toolbar.

But, let's assume that all the above points are moot and actually the data is accurate, correctly computed and all.

Read what Alexa says on it's page:
http://www.alexa.com...ffic_learn_more

The only measure that they somehow "support", with this not-so-light caveat:

Some Important Disclaimers

The traffic data are based on the set of toolbars that use Alexa data, which may not be a representative sample of the global Internet population. To the extent that our sample of users differs from the set of all Internet users, our traffic estimates may over- or under-estimate the actual traffic to any particular site.


How Are Traffic Trend Graphs Calculated?

The Trend graph shows you the site's daily traffic rank, charted over time. The daily traffic rank reflects the traffic to the site based on data for a single day. In contrast, the main traffic rank shown in the Alexa Toolbar and elsewhere in the service is calculated from three months of aggregate traffic data.

Daily traffic rankings will sometimes benefit sites with sporadically high traffic, while the three-month traffic ranking benefits sites with consistent traffic over time. Since we feel that consistent traffic is a better indication of a site's value, we've chosen to use the three-month traffic rank to represent the site's overall popularity. We use the daily traffic rank in the Trend graphs because it allows you to see short-term fluctuations in traffic much more clearly.

It is possible for a site's three-month traffic rank to be higher than any single daily rank shown in the Trend graph. On any given day there may be many sites that temporarily shoot up in the rankings. But if a site has consistent traffic performance, it may end up with the best ranking when the traffic data are aggregated into the three-month average. A good analogy is a four-day golf tournament: if a different player comes in first at each match, but you come in second at all four matches, you can end up winning the tournament.




Is, rather obviously ONLY the three months aggregated "result"

What is Traffic Rank?

The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources, and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach). As a first step, Alexa computes the reach and number of page views for all sites on the Web on a daily basis. The main Alexa traffic rank is based on a value derived from these two quantities averaged over time (so that the rank of a site reflects both the number of users who visit that site as well as the number of pages on the site viewed by those users). The three-month change is determined by comparing the site's current rank with its rank from three months ago. For example, on July 1, the three-month change would show the difference between the rank based on traffic during the first quarter of the year and the rank based on traffic during the second quarter.


So, in a nutshell they (themselves) say:
  • that their sample may be not representative :thumbup:
  • that they correct the data they collect with undisclosed algorithms to "eliminate bias" :thumbup:
  • that the only (according to them) meaningful data are three months page rank :w00t:
  • that the daily rank is only a tool to allow you "to see short-term fluctuations in traffic much more clearly" :)

And you are going to try backing up the daily rank as a meaningful metrics? :w00t:

Come on....

Situation right now for msfn.org (since you are comparing it):
http://www.alexa.com...p...te&p=bigtop

Alexa Traffic Rank: 20,380

Click on "20,380" and by sheer magic you get here:
http://www.alexa.com...rg#trafficstats

20,380
Alexa Traffic Rank



Situation right now for boot-land.net:
http://www.alexa.com...e...me&p=bigtop

Alexa Traffic Rank: No Data

Click on "No data" and by sheer magic you get here:
http://www.alexa.com...et#trafficstats

61,685
Alexa Traffic Rank




:thumbup:
Wonko

#23 Nuno Brito

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:13 PM

The server has spent some considerable time offline over the past days and that is bound to be reflected on daily stats, especially for higher ranks where competition is much tougher.

Daily fluctuation is normal but we had never passed over MSFN before and we're getting much closer to achieve a similar level of audience even knowing that we don't have any webmaster related section discussing php or similar like MSFN does, which is also bound to thrust higher ranks for their site.

In overall, we've been ranked quite steadily over the last years and rocking our way up the charts. That is good to see, call it whatever you like.

:thumbup:

#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:39 PM

That is good to see, call it whatever you like.


Sure, this is also good to see :thumbup::
http://tinyurl.com/yjbao55
but noone is claiming it's a scientific kind of metrics or asks to install a toolbar for it.....

:)
Wonko

#25 Nuno Brito

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:47 PM

Welll.. I'll just keep on looking at Alexa while you look at Megan.. :thumbup:




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