Alexa Internet, Inc. is a California-based subsidiary company of Amazon.com that is best known for operating a website that provides information on the web traffic to other websites. Alexa collects information from users who have installed an "Alexa Toolbar," allowing them to provide statistics on website traffic, as well as lists of related links.
Alexa Internet was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat. The company offered a Toolbar that gave Internet users guidance on where to go next, based on the traffic patterns of its user community. Alexa also offered context for each site visited: to whom it was registered, how many pages it had, how many other sites pointed to it, and how frequently it was updated. Engineers at Alexa, in cooperation with the Internet Archive, created the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Alexa also supplies the Internet Archive with web crawls.
In 1999, Alexa was acquired by Amazon.com for about $250 million in Amazon stock.
Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users. The information is sorted, sifted, anonymized, counted, and computed, until, finally, we get the traffic rankings shown in the Alexa service. The process is relatively complex.
So you decided to build a website and you got listed in the Google, Yahoo and MSN. Now you need to find out how the competition is. Well wouldn't it be nice to know how their doing. Alexa assigns a Traffic Rank to all websites that are indexed. They list from the smallest number being the top position (#1) to the largest being the lowest position (10,000,000 or higher). This can help you if your trying to get a lot links or see how a site is doing. it also show your website growth over a period of time.
The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users 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 the geometric mean of 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.
Traffic is computed for sites, which are typically defined at the domain level. For example, the Web hosts www.google.com, carpoint.google.com and slate.google.com are all treated as part of the same site, because they all reside on the same domain, google.com. An exception is blogs or personal home pages, which are treated separately if they can be automatically identified as such from the URLs in question. Also, sites which are found to be serving the "same" content are generally counted together as the same site.
Reach measures the number of users. Reach is typically expressed as the percentage of all Internet users who visit a given site. So, for example, if a site like yahoo.com has a reach of 28%, this means that of all global Internet users measured by Alexa, 28% of them visit yahoo.com. Alexa's one-week and three-month average reach are measures of daily reach, averaged over the specified time period. The three-month change is determined by comparing a site's current reach with its values from three months ago.
Page views measure the number of pages viewed by Alexa Toolbar users. Multiple page views of the same page made by the same user on the same day are counted only once. The page views per user numbers are the average numbers of unique pages viewed per user per day by the users visiting the site. The three-month change is determined by comparing a site's current page view numbers with those from three month ago.
Let say that I have a traffic rank of about 5,000,000. If this is the case I should have 20 or more visitors a day. If I have a traffic rank at about 300,000 I would have about 500 visitors a day. The higher your traffic rank the more progress you making.
If you install the Alexa Toolbar you will be able to see how much traffic a website gets. This can tell you many things about a website. Such as how big a website is. How much traffic they get. If a link from that site is going to help you. It’s also a great way to see how the competition is doing compared to your own site. Also how much your own website is growing.