Ok, seriously, who uses Alexa?

Seriously. Every time I see Alexa rank used in any kind of argument about a web site’s prominence it makes me cringe. Who wants to install their crappy toolbar and whatever for?

I wonder that myself. It’s derived from users using amazon.com’s toolbar, right?

I manage the systems operations for a large eCommerce website, and I’ve been guilty of using alexa results in a presentation or two (like when we kicked our competitor’s arse last thanksgiving weekend). I think the important question is whether or not its user base is a representative sample of the Internet. No reason why it couldn’t be.

As an aside, Nielsen online and comscore are trusted resources, but aside from some public reports (like top 20 ecommerce sites), you have to pay for their data.

It could, sure, but can you prove that statistically? Just the fact that you have to be willing to install the toolbar would cut off a large portion of internet users.

Again, if alexa required demographic information when the toolbar is installed, it could simply sample from that, right? I have no idea if their data is statistically significant or not (my hunch is not), but it could be.

I think the best we can say is that they measure website reach by users using the amazon.com toolbar.

Maybe, but it’d sample those likely stupid enough to click on ads, suspect or not. I guess it depends on who you are targeting. Heh.

[double post]

Well, yes, but that is never how the stats are presented by the people that use them. Which isn’t all Alexa’s fault either.

Just imagine how fun this conversation is when you’re selling games industry ad space to a marketing company that believes in Alexa.