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8 Tricks You Can Use to Increase Alexa’s Traffic Ranking

July 25, 2007 by · 21 Comments 

Yesterday I wrote about 5 tricks some people use to increase their Alexa’s traffic ranks. The point of the post is not to say that Alexa is totally useless but the methods I described do not usually help in improving the rankings.

To the general web surfers, Alexa’s traffic ranking means almost nothing. But many advertisers and ad networks use Alexa to gauge whether it’s worth spending money and pay the site owner to advertise on the site.

If you are a blogger trying to make money from Text Link Ads or ReviewMe, having a good Alexa ranking put you in the position to charge more on your ad inventory.

I’ve been repeating this point several times in my previous posts. If you want to make money from your website, putting some effort in improving your Alexa ranking will be worth your while.

On the other hand, if you are not trying to make money from Text Link Ads, ReviewMe or you are using ad networks that disregard Alexa traffic, you can ignore Alexa because it won’t make any difference to your bottom-line. Similarly, if you are selling your own products via AdWords, having a good ranking won’t help you sell more products. So, this post is for those whose Alexa’s traffic rankings affect their bottom-line to a certain extend. Here are ten tricks to increase your Alexa ranking.

 

  1. Install Alexa Toolbar

    If this look likes a contradiction to the third point in my previous post, it doesn’t. There’s no need to install Alexa toolbar on several different computers if they all share the same IP address. Unless of course, each computer access your site alternately on different days.

    Once you set your site or blog as your homepage, you’ll start seeing some increase to you ranking albeit a very small one. This tips works if you have a brand new site. Download Alexa toolbar here.

     

  2. Recommend Alexa Toolbar to Your Users

    Write a review about Alexa, similar to what I am doing now and tell your users why Alexa can be important to them. Invite your friends to use Alexa toolbar and explain why it’s beneficial to do so. Make sure they are aware of the privacy issue associate with using Alexa toolbar.

    Again if you have a new blog or site, you’ll notice an increase in your ranking soon.

     

  3. Create Contents that Appeal to Webmasters

    Since we know Alexa stats is skewed towards webmaster traffic, put this to your advantage by creating contents that attract webmasters and tech savvy readers.

    I’ve demonstrated this when I compared the Alexa stats for Sabahan.com and a political blog in the 50 most influential blogs in Malaysia. In that article, I pointed out that while the political blog gets more traffic daily, Sabahan.com enjoys better Alexa ranking even with lower traffic level only because its content attracts webmasters, bloggers and tech savvy audience.

     

  4. Take Advantage of the Social Bookmarking Sites

    Submit your blog posts to the social bookmark sites like digg, and Stumble Upon or reddit.com. Even if you don’t get to the front page, some visitors will still end up on your site. Since this traffic is targeted to your content, someone might find them useful enough to link to your posts from their blogs.

    Obviously your ultimate aim should be to get into the front page and bring the traffic surge that could significantly impact your Alexa’s traffic ranking.

     

  5. Create Sub Domains or Run Multiple Blogs Under One Domain

    Alexa merges together sites which they think have the some content. The merged sites would have their traffic combined to form one ranking and listed under the main domain.

    To take advantage of this, you could create another site and run it under a sub domain of your main site e.g. http://seo.sabahan.com You could offer webmaster tools section to attract webmaster traffic.

    If you have extra bandwidth and web space to spare, offer free blog hosting to your users and host them under sub domains, e.g. blog1.sabahan.com, blog2.sabahan.com, blog3.sabahan.com etc.

    Your will enjoy a greater Alexa ranking as it’s a combination of all the blogs rankings under that domain.

     

  6. Get Involved In Chinese Sites

    That is, if you know Chinese. There are many Chinese websites ranked highly in the Global Alexa top 500. To some extent, this reflects the high adoption of Alexa toolbar among Chinese Internet users.

    If you could create a sub domain and run a Chinese blog that attracts Chinese users from China, you could potentially enjoy a greater Alexa ranking.

     

  7. Remove Unnecessary Secure Pages On Your Site

    Since Alexa toolbar turns itself of on secure pages (https:), sites with secure page views will be under-counted in the Alexa traffic data. So if you have many secure pages, consider disabling them if that doesn’t compromise on your users’ security.

     

  8. Create Great Content

    Great content attracts readership which translates into more traffic. On the Internet, content is king and some say traffic is the queen. Like everything else, focus on your effort in creating valuable and useful content. Give what your readers want.

    When you got traffic, your Alexa’s rank increase will follow. One good example I can give is the DoshDosh.com blog. Its Alexa ranking jumped from around 3 million in January 2007 to around 7,149 in just over six month all due to its great content that’s targeted towards webmasters.

    dosh-dosh.png

 

Due to the statistical limitations of the sample of Alexa toolbar users, Alexa is unable to accurately determine the ranking of sites with fewer than 1,000 total monthly visitors or about 30 visits per day. Therefore, in order to be taken seriously by advertisers, you need to get below 100,000 in your traffic ranking, any higher is regarded as not reliable. Obviously the closer you get to number 1 the better.

Have I missed anything? Please share your tips in increasing your Alexa’s traffic rankings in the comments.

5 Useless Tricks People Use to Increase Their Alexa’s Traffic Ranking

July 24, 2007 by · 39 Comments 

For some site owners, getting a high Alexa traffic rank is more of an ego boost than a true reflection of their sites popularity. Others are trying to game Alexa so that they can command higher prices for their ad inventory among other things.

The recently released official Alexa toolbar for Firefox seems to re-ignite the obsession some people have over their Alexa ranking. I’ve seen several bloggers recommending tools and methods to game Alexa ranking.

Trying to cheat their Alexa ranks may be fun to some people but it degrades the value of the entire system and affects Alexa’s reputation negatively as it becomes less reliable as a traffic measurement metric. While I am aware that Alexa has its limitations, it’s essentially offering valuable service to webmasters and advertisers alike. Besides Google PageRank, I don’t know of any other universally accessible metrics for anyone when evaluating a site’s worth.

However, like other popular services on the Internet, Alexa is getting smarter in preventing people from artificially manipulating their rankings. What used to work yesterday doesn’t always work today.

The following are tricks/cheats employed by some people who try to manipulate and increase their ranking.

 

  1. Install Firefox extension that Reloads Web Pages

    There’s an extension for Firefox named ReloadEvery that as the name implies, reloads web pages every so may seconds or minutes.

    The idea is to increase your page views and hopefully they will be counted towards your Alexa rankings. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on which side you are on), this won’t work because multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user counted as a single pageview by Alexa.

    In addition, if you are using AdSense on your site, using this tool could get you banned. So don’t waste your time with this one.

     

  2. Install Alexa Redirect Plugin for WordPress

    Installing this plugin will edit all your internal blog links except wp-admin related) to add the “Alexa redirect” prefix which is http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?

    So your normal URL will change to http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.domainname.com.

    There’s no limit at where you can use this trick. You can use the redirected URL when leaving comments in other blogs or in your forum signatures. The idea is to send the visitor through Alexa and counts them as a visit, even if they don’t have the Alexa toolbar installed.

    The problem with this method is that, it will negatively affect your site’s PageRank and search engine rankings as it destroys any good internal linking structure you may have on your site.

    In addition, there’s no evidence that using redirects benefits your Alexa’s traffic rankings.. As far as I know Alexa’s traffic rankings are based on the usage patterns of Alexa Toolbar users over a rolling 3 month period. No toolbar, no tracking.

     

  3. Install Alexa Toolbar on Several Computers in Your Local Area Network and Set Your Site as Your Homepage

    It doesn’t matter how many computers you have the Alexa toolbar installed, if they all share the same IP address, all page views will be counted only once per day.

    Sure you may notice a tiny improvement in the traffic ranking if your site is ranked in the millions to begin with, but that’s probably all that you’ll get.

     

  4. Put up Alexa Rank Widget On Your Site

    Alexa Site Widgets are those little graphic or button that you can display on your site to show Alexa traffic rankings and Alexa Traffic History Graph as shown below.


    There’s no evidence that these Widget will improve your traffic ranking. If nothing else, it just informs Alexa about your site and add it to the list of sites to visit, thus ensuring your inclusion in the Alexa service.

    That said, I am not saying all those using these widgets on their sites are trying to game Alexa. It’s a fun tool to display but if your purpose is to increase your Alexa’s traffic ranking, I doubt it’ll work even when the viewer click on it.

     

  5. Using Alexa Auto-Surfs Program

    Using an Alexa auto surf may work for new sites with very low Alexa ranking. However, I’ve seen Alexa auto surf users who complained that they are experiencing a drop in Alexa ranking after the initial increase.

    My theory is that, since the number of IP addresses which take part in the auto-surf program is not unlimited, up to a point, the limit will be reached. There’s just so many IP address for Alexa to consider as a unique page view per day during which your website ranking will stop improving. I won’t be surprise if Alexa has started developing a way to defeat the autosurf programs.

    In addition, you may get in trouble with Google if you are showing AdSense ads on the sites involved in auto surfing.

In my coming post, I’ll share the tips how you could increase your Alexa’s traffic rankings.

Weakening US Dollar Hurts Malaysian Webmasters

June 12, 2007 by · 9 Comments 

Anyone who is not a US citizen, working on the Internet and get paid in US dollar is feeling the pinch of the weaker dollar.

At the same time, the local currency, Ringgit Malaysia is moving in the opposite direction and is getting stronger by the day. That means the checks I get from Google AdSense, or affiliate commissions from CJ worth less today than they were just a month ago.

If you are a blogger doing pay per post at your blog, you are actually making less money for the same amount of work.

You can choose to receive payments in Ringgit Malaysia if this option is available but from my experience, the service charge for such service and exchange rate they use are probably costlier than when you opt for US dollar payment and exchange it yourself at your local bank.

On the other hand, I can afford to spend more on Internet advertising now such as in my AdWords campaigns. But there’s no escaping that the amount of advertising dollars I could put aside will continue to shrink because of the weakening US dollar. The only way to get around this is to work harder.

forex-2y.png

Those who just got started probably do not see this as a bigger deal as those who have been paid in US dollar for years. But trust me – it hurts.

That said, because of the higher value of the US dollar, I am still earning more than if I were to get paid in Malaysian Ringgit. So it’s not the end of the world.

A US 5,000 for example is still worth about RM17,000 today. Bottom line is you have to work harder to earn the same amount of money today than before.

Digg Traffic vs Google Traffic – An AdSense Click Through Rates Analysis

June 8, 2007 by · 21 Comments 

When it comes to ads clicking, the general consensus I find among site owners who got dugg before was Digg users are lousy ad clickers.

It’s kind of obvious when you think that Digg users arrive at your site because they are looking for something specific. They tend to be very focused in their quest for information and they are there for one and one reason only and that is instant gratification.

If they haven’t installed ad blocker already, they are probably blind to ads since they are used to seeing them all over the place. The main demographic profile of the classic Digg user is perhaps college going Internet power user.

This is the main reason why Digg traffic usually translates to low click through rates.

Things got a little interesting for me recently when one of my other blogs got dugg for the first time. Instead of just accepting the theory, I got an opportunity to put numbers into it.

My aim is to find the AdSense CTRs for Digg traffic vs. Google traffic from organic search and segmented the Digg traffic further to identify who’s among those Digg users that actually click on AdSense ads.

 

Analysis Background

  • I used a combination of Google Analytics and Javascript to help me do this. The result presented below is by no means definitive.
  • The data were collected over a 31 day period from May 7th 2007 until Jun 6th 2007 using Google Analytics.
  • My blog got into Digg’s front page on Jun 4th and this has brought in 42,856 unique visitors over the course of three days.
  • I received 3,308 unique visitors from Google within the same 31 days period. All traffic sources sent a total of 62,612 visits.

diggbackground.gif

 

 

AdSense CTRs for Digg Traffic vs. Google Traffic

  • 7.50% of the 3,308 visitors sent by Google clicked on my AdSense ads. Keep in mind that this number may be slightly different from that reported by AdSense itself.
  • In contrast, only 0.94% of Digg traffic has clicked on my AdSense ads.
  • Google traffic is about eight times more likely to click on AdSense ads than Digg traffic.

 

Digg Traffic Segmentation – Who’s clicking My Ads?

Obviously there are portions of the Digg traffic that click on AdSense ads. Here, I’ll identify them according to several segmentation options. From this, we will be able to build up the Digg user’s profile that’s most likely to click on AdSense ads.

 

By Browser

  • Over ¾ of Digg users use Firefox, that’s a whooping 75.99% to be exact. No doubt, many of these users are using an ad blocker plugin. How many? I don’t know.
  • The best converting users are those using Camino, followed my Mozilla Compatible Agent, then Firefox.

digg-browser.gif

 

By Operating System

  • 72.03% of the Digg users use Windows Operating System followed by Macintosh based (22.77%) and 4.95% use Linux.
  • Surprisingly, or not – depending which side you are on – Digg users that use Mac are the best ad clickers. Actually, Google Analytics was unable to identify the OS of the best ad clickers, so the second best falls to Mac OS users.

digg-os.gif

 

By Visitors Type

  • The Digg traffic can be divided into two visitor types which are Returning Visitors and New Visitors.
  • Interestingly, a returning visitor is about three times more likely to click on AdSense ads (2.50%) than a new visitor (0.91%). One reason I can think of is that returning visitors are not in the specific information searching mode. They are ready to explore the rest of the site and are more receptive to ads.

digg-visitortype.gif

 

By Language

  • While English speakers made up the majority of the Digg users, they are by far not the best AdSense clickers.
  • The best AdSense clickers I found are those that speak Spanish Argentineans (es-ar), followed by Portuguese Brazil (pt-br) and then Swedish Sweden (sv-se). Of course, this may varies from one site to another.

digg-language.gif

 

By Continent

  • Majority of Digg users come from the Americas (80.20%) followed by Europe (10.40%) and then Oceania (4.95%)
  • The best ad clickers are not identifiable by Google Analytics. The second best group comes from Asia followed by the Americas .

digg-continent.gif

 

By Sub Continent Region

  • Digg users from Central America click AdSense the most, followed by users from Caribbean and Southern Asia .

digg-continent-region.gif

 

By Country

  • Digg users from developed countries are less likely to click on AdSense ads. As shown below, most ad clickers come from the developing countries.

digg-country.gif

  • The top ten countries where the majority of Digg users come from are shown below

digg-country10.gif

 

While I don’t claim this analysis to be entirely accurate; it’s still interesting to unearth some trends that we may have never thought of before. The result is only as good as the data being fed into Google Analytics.

As more Digg users become sophisticated we can expect the click through rates generated by Digg traffic plummet in the future. So if your business depends on gaming Digg, it won’t work for long.

Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.

Click here to Digg This

Technorati Introduces ‘Authority’ Ranking

May 6, 2007 by · 6 Comments 

Technorati has updated its ranking scheme to include the Technorati Authority for blogs listed on the Blog page and in search results.

Previously Technorati used the references of “N blogs link here” and “X links fro Y blogs”. These values are replaced with the single Technorati Authority number.

From their blog

Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has.

It is important to note that we measure the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to your blog many times, it still only count as +1 toward your authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days.

Technorati Rank is calculated based on how far you are from the top. The blog with the hightest Technorati Authority is the #1 ranked blog. The smaller your Technorati Rank, the closer you are to the top.

Since at the lower end of the scale many blogs will have the same Technorati Authority, they will share the same Technorati Rank.

Sabahan.com has an Authority of 231, meaning 231 unique blogs have been linking to it in the last six months.

It’s interesting to see that this change reflect more closely of the influence of blogs as I’ve written earlier about Malaysia’s 50 most influential blogs.

So what does this means to you as a blogger?

To a certain extent, I believe the number of inbound links correlates to a blog influence and authority to a certain degree. I don’t know to what extent but certainly it can’t be dismissed.

Is Sabahan.com Out Of Google Sandbox?

May 6, 2007 by · 12 Comments 

For the past two weeks, I am seeing a trend where the number of daily visitors to Sabahan.com double.

If you are wondering how much traffic this blog is getting daily, well it’s still below the one thousand mark – not much compare to other more popular blogs. But that’s besides my point; I find it more exciting to see this sudden jump in Sabahan.com’s traffic level.

The increase in traffic coincides with the time when many bloggers reported that they were seeing an increase in their site’s Google PageRank. I didn’t experience any PR increase for my main page, but I suspect several of my internal pages have enjoyed a boost in PageRank.

As a result, my pages started to appear in the first page of Google search results for certain keywords such as LHDN, pelaburan Internet, Vista advantages, Malaysian Blogs and a couple others.

This got me thinking, am I now out of the mysterious and speculative Google Sandbox if it even exists?

Google sandbox is the term used by some people to describe where new sites get placed when they are first indexed by Google. It’s speculated that these sites that are sandboxed do not rank at all or do not rank highly in Google’s search engine results.

At some point, however, they are let out of the sandbox and suddenly all their pages appear in Google’s index and those pages can rank much more highly in search results.

You can read my other article about Google Sandbox here.

Here’s my theory, officially Google Sandbox does not exit. All new pages will be indexed equally by Google provided that they can be crawled. There’s nothing preventing them from getting good rankings from Google if they have a good PageRank and properly optimized

What happen to the new pages is that they are probably placed in Google supplemental results, not penalized or sandboxed as some may have believed.

Now, later when they are awarded with good PageRank, Google recalculates their ranking relative to other pages with good PageRank. Given a similar PageRank, the only thing that separates the top pages from the bottom ones is whether they are properly optimized or not. However, keep in mind that a high PageRank does not always guarantee a high ranking in the search engine.

Another interesting side effect for the increase in traffic is the doubling the AdSense income for Sabahan.com.

While Sabahan.com doesn’t make thousands from AdSense, I find it gratifying to see this part time project managed to bring in over one hundred dollars per month from AdSense.

These positive changes probably give me a little cause for celebration but I prefer to just wait and see if this new trend continues.

Sabahan.com – One of the Most Popular Blogs in Malaysia?

May 2, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

Well if you use Alexa as the measuring stick, apparently Sabahan.com is number 9 on the list of most popular blogs in Malaysia.

In May last year, Syed Syahrul created a list of 70 most popular blogs in Malaysia. The list was updated recently and Sabahan.com is listed at number 9. Based on Alexa, it should had been there last year but it seemed that not many were aware of this blog existence back then.

As usual, LiewCF.com still reigns supreme taking the number one spot as the most popular blog in Malaysia. PaulTan.org at a close second and KennySia.com occupies the third spot.

Kahsoon.com which is currently no longer updated still pack a punch at number 4.

While I appreciate Syed’s effort in compiling the list, my personal view is that Alexa is not the best metric to measure blogs popularity. This is because it’s bias towards tech savvy or webmaster traffic. In addition, it has a limited reach and only counts traffic from those who have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browser.

How The Internet Was Like In 1994

April 24, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

I think I first heard about the Internet and how people were using emails to contact each other in 1992 but I’ve never really used it until 1995. Back then the email interface in my University was still in text based, so did chatting which used Telnet.

I remember I downloaded Doom and Duke Nukem – the first person shooter games and installed it on my department computer lab without the knowledge of the lecture.

Me and my friends stayed at the lab till midnight playing games – well that was fun.

I used NetScape browser (Mosaic) to surf the young Internet. It was the age of discovery and innocence. Everybody was still experimenting with this new medium. I was astonished to find that I could actually chat with someone from the other side of the globe in real time when I first discovered IRC. Since I was not studying IT, this self discovery became a lot more interesting.

Google as we know it today didn’t exist. Alta Vista, Infoseek, Exite, Hotbot Nothern Light and Yahoo were among the most popular search engines. Blog has yet to be invented.

Anyway, here’s a video from 1994 which was an original footage from what was supposed to be the first conference about Internet marketing and making money on the web.

The public Internet as we know it was just one year old. Netscape was founded in the same year. The description of the video reads

In November 1994, Internet commercialization pioneer Ken McCarthy organized the first conference ever held that focused exclusively on the commercial potential of the web. This rare footage, which documents the very earliest days of the web industry, is an important artifact in the history of technology. After introductory remarks by Ken, Marc Andreessen, the 23 year old co-founder of Netscape, describes how the first web browser came into being and shares his vision of the future of the network which was destined to change the world forever.

Watching the video left me feel a little nostalgic. Perhaps what the speakers said look like common sense to us now but in 1994, it was a groundbreaking ideas.

Ken McCarthy got most things right except a few where he said business cannot exist on the Internet alone. According to him having a pure Internet based business without a presence in the physical world was ridiculous. We know now that’s not true.

If you are making money from AdSense, you are essentially running a pure Internet based business.

He also mentioned how AOL stated to rent their mailing list – perhaps the start of the age of spamming.

I wonder how the Internet will look like 10 years from now.

PS: The video is about 71 minutes long.

Protect Your PC From Becoming a Zombie Machine Using These Free Security Software

April 12, 2007 by · 7 Comments 

A recent survey conducted by Symantec reveals alarming stats that showed 96% of computers in Malaysia are zombie machines.

This gives another reason for us to be more wary especially if you are using public computers such as those in cybercafes.

Zombie machines are PCs that have been compromised by hackers and used to send spam emails, or launched phishing attacked that lure unwitting computer users to reveal personal information such as credit card details and bank account passwords.

Malaysia ranks No 7 as a propagator of zombie machines in the Asia-Pacific region. China occupies the top spot, followed by South Korea , Taiwan , Japan , Thailand and Vietnam .

According to the survey, you are more likely to encounter zombie machines in Kuala Lumpur where many PC users have broadband Internet access. Once you become a victim of a phishing attack, your stolen personal information such as bank account could be sold and fetch up to RM1,100 in the black market. A verified PayPal account could be sold between RM175 and RM1750.

The reason for the problem can be attributed to the lack of awareness of the security precautions the users need to take to safeguard their computer. Those who install pirated software are also at risk because some of this software contained Trojans which is planted into the users’ computers when the software is installed.

One way to remedy this problem is to install security software that combines antivirus, firewall and instruction detection capabilities. Installing antivirus software alone is not enough to protect your computer.

You can purchase these software from Symantec.com, Mcafee.com or any other security companies. If you like you can also use the ones that are freely available. Having the later option gives you no excuse not to install security software to safeguard your computer.

I’ve listed several free antivirus, firewall and instruction detection software below

 

Free Anti Virus Software

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition scans files on access on demand and on schedule. The separate user interface between Control Center and Test Center can be a little confusion nevertheless it gets the job done.

Avast! 4 Home Edition
Those who like software with pretty interface will find this app appealing as it comes with skinnable interface. It scans files on demand, on access including email attachments but on schedule scanning is only available on the paid version. It also scan your computer at boot time.

 

Free Firewall Software

Comodo Firewall
Comodo Firewall helps to secure your computer by preventing hacker from accessing your computer and prevent unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet.

ZoneAlarm
One of the popular firewall software, ZoneAlarm doesn’t have all the features of ZoneAlarm Pro’s firewall. It monitors which programs are allowed to access the Internet by asking you instead of consulting the SmartDefense Advisor database.

 

Antispyware and anti-phishing software

SpyCatcher Express
This tool cleans out spyware from your system and prevent further invasion. My only gripe is that it doesn’t have antiphishing solution and a few high-end tools. You have to check for updates manually. If you can get over those limitations, it does its job well.

 

Other security software worth mentioning

Windows Defender
Not the best free spyware scanner around but its on-demand scanner is useful if you want a second opinion.

StartupMonitor
StartupMonitor alerts the user when a program tries to install itself whenever you boot up Windows.

SuperStorm Freeware
It protects sensitive file up to 200KB by encrypting it and hiding it inside a JPEG image. The original will be securely deleted.

 

Besides installing the above, my other advice is to keep your Firefox and Internet Explorer browser up-to-date. If you have a favorite free security software or tips to secure your computer, please share with us in the comment section.

Digg Traffic vs. Google Traffic – Which One Is More Likely to Click on an Ad?

April 10, 2007 by · 6 Comments 

Chitika has a post up comparing Digg traffic versus Google traffic to show which one is more likely to click on an ad.

So they dig their logs to find out the answer and it’s not surprising to see Google traffic is likely to click on an ad than digg traffic.

Check out the full post here: Digg Traffic v/s Google Traffic – A Chitika Analysis Report

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