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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Update On Alexa Stats 

Well I finally had a chance to update the Alexas stats, and you can see the end of Big Brother has done some rearranging, which is not surprising.

I have also done a bit of investigating into the stats themselves. I found a friend's site that he has forgotten about (it has been up since 1999, has a counter saying only 400 people have seen the site, and hasn't been updated since 2001). So no traffic, nobody knows what I am using it for, so it is a clean slate.

Hitting his site once a day gives some surprising daily hit numbers - varying from 5.5 to 7.5 hits per million users. Hitting it multiple times doesn't change the stats, but using different computers/ip addresses does.

So I infer a couple of things from this. First off, Alexa doesn't have millions of users using their stat bar every day - more on the magnitude of 200 to 300 thousand. Secondly it seems this hit stat is based on how many Alexa users are "on" the web on a given day, thus the fluctuation in the number each day.

So what does that mean for manipulation of the statistics? Well it is a lot easier to get those high numbers, for one thing. To get to the 60 hits per million you only need 10 friends hitting your site with the Alexa toolbar turned on. To get on the radar you only need to hit your site once a day yourself to get into the 5 to 7 range.

Of course the real problem is getting 10 friends to agree to put spyware on their computer just so you can move up in an obscure site rating website like mine.