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The Alexa Debate Continues

Posted by geeknews at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2008

Ever time I see someone quote Alexa numbers it makes me sick to my stomach. The reason is that their numbers are far from accurate.

Last week I had a client email me looking to advertise on one of my properties. He sent me a advertising figure that I quite literally laughed at. When I replied that the rate was about 15 times lower than what we normally charged he replied with a Alexa chart.

I followed up with some screen shots from my Google Analytics account, and the client said it was impossible for the numbers between Alexa and Google Analytics to have such a huge delta, and actually semi-accused us of fudging the numbers.

I wrote off Alexa a long time ago, sadly many people still do not have a clue that their numbers are pretty far from being even reasonably accurate.

Faulty Alexa data ends up hurting small companies like mine because this gives agencies the ability to negotiate with bad data. I think though the Agencies know it’s bad data and they use Alexa data points when they can as they know they can strong arm companies into lower advertising rates and get away with it.

2 Comments

  1. From Svetlana Gladkova at 3:25 am on August 11, 2008

    Same here, I have realized long ago that the only thing you can actually rely on for traffic measurement is tools that analyze server logs. And Alexa seems to be the least accurate.
    I actually think that we already need a new tool to analyze actual influence of blogs to use its data when talking to advertisers.

  2. From lapidary at 11:24 am on August 12, 2008

    I just found out that there is an alexa plugin for firefox. I use compete, but I thought people may be interested in providing this data to help these companies. Todd is right that there data is way off.