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Karmona Pragmatic Blog

The Alexa Hoax

August 20th, 2007 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 2 Comments

Pac-Man ChartAlexa says YouTube Is now bigger than Google & that Orkut have reached 71% Brazilian users… (???)

I have merged the internet population data from the CIA FactBook (reliable source but not the most updated one) to a an (unofficial) Alexa toolbar users distribution and this is what I got:

CountryAlexa CIA Fact Book
China16.44%12%
United States14.28%20%
Brazil3.82%2.5%
Japan3.64%8.4%
United Kingdom3.11%3.6%

Alexa collects data with its toolbar – Did you install it? (I didn’t…) which mainly have implication in regional bias as the distribution of Alexa toolbars is not proportional to the number of users in different countries and as it seems Alexa doesn’t do any “normalization” of the data to fix this bias and doesn’t have any official report on their toolbar distribution – Alexa on Alexa is unavailable (???)

“Alexa Reach” is relative – the percentage of all Internet users who visit a given site rather than absolute number of users which is causing unexplained changes since the “total- distribution-pie” is changing all the time…

Alexa tracks “daily unique visitors” (a.k.a. “Alexa Reach”) and “daily page views” which isn’t like tracking unique (session-based) visits and I think that how many times did you refresh your facebook home page today (could range from 0 to 500 a day ;-) isn’t as interesting as the fact you did visit it today.So…

I don’t have a better alternative to measure other-people-sites-traffic yet (…) but I think Alexa can have much more interesting data by simply moving to more interesting counters (e.g. unique visitor), publish their toolbar distribution (a.k.a. Alexa on Alexa) and start doing some “normalization” with internet population data.

Tags: Internet

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1  Armand Rousso // Sep 10, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    It seems that one of the most use stats website is failing. If they use only their toolbar for calculation of visitors and origin, they are indeed failing to give accurate data.

    Armand Rousso
    http://internet.armandrousso.biz/

  • 2  Clean the world // Sep 10, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I agree with Armand concerning the untruth information which Alexa has been sending through the time to all it’s subscriber. It sucks man.

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