The latest offering from toolbar numbers giant Alexa looks good when it comes to website analytics. However, a closer look reveals a pretty picture that promises much but offers little.
The real problem with Alexa is very simple – accuracy. At best this is probably on 10% of all users and these users seem to be those that prefer Digg and StumbleUpon.
If the data collected was from a much broader cross-section of the population then it could be quite useful. When it comes to analytics – I am impressed with what is on offer. Being able to see the demographics of users, broken up into age, gender, education, with/out children and location (home/work) could be useful particularly if you target a particular group.
You are also able to view a sites upstream and downstream traffic flow, keywords used to find a particular page, and the traffic stats amongst others. What could also be useful is your ability to view the information for any web site – quite handy for spying on your competitors.
Of course, I say the information could be useful with the emphasis on the ‘could’ simply because of reliability. I looked at the stats for one site and, according to Alexa, it received little to no search traffic yet I know that 75% of its traffic comes from the search engines.
The other statistics bare little resemblance to other more reliable web analytics packages. Still, the interface looks good and the information provided well laid out – it’s a pity it’s all so unreliable and totally useless when it comes to SEO! If you want to check out your statistics through Alexa then simply type the Alexa URL followed by /siteinfo/ and your url – alexa.com/siteinfo/yoursite
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