Why is There Difference Between the Google Analytics and Alexa Ranking Stats

This one question has been bugging me for a long time. I am glad that I’ve deciphered it at last!

Remember, Alexa Stats are the stats ONLY of the Alexa toolbar bearing visitors to your blog.

The engagement data of Alexa shows how many pages does an Alexa toolbar installed visitor views on average, how much time does that Alexa toolbar bearer spends on your blog, and how many of them bounce off your blog after a single page view.

Whereas, the Google Analytics stats include activities of all the visitors to your site. It includes all those who are Alexa toolbar bearers and those who are not.

In addition, my Alexa stats tell me that most of the visitors to my blog are from India, United States, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and Pakistan – in this very order.

However, the Google Analytics stats put the visitor countries in this order – United States, India, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

This means that more of my Indian visitors than the Americans have the Alexa toolbar installed on their browsers.
 Why is There Difference Between the Google Analytics and Alexa Ranking Stats
Evidently, almost all visitors from Nigeria and Pakistan visiting my blog are bloggers.

In addition, visitors to my blog from Canada and Australia are generally non-bloggers or site owners.

You can reveal so much about your site traffic by studying the Google Analytics and Alexa stats.

Furthermore, my Alexa search traffic stats show that about 3.7% of the Alexa toolbar bearers visit my blog.

Whereas, my blog Google Analytics tells me that about 30% of visits to my blog are from search engines.

So, probably, most of my search engine visitors do not have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers.

As you see, you cannot totally rely on your Alexa stats. Your site Alexa stats are NOT the true indication of your site traffic and particulars.

The Alexa stats only shows the popularity and engagement stats of your blog among all the Alexa tool bar bearers in the world, which is roughly about 30 million Internet users or blogs.

Site and blog owners love Alexa rank for mainly three purposes:
It increases reputation among site owners and bloggers because they DO see and talk about the Alexa rank, PR (Page Rank), or MOZ rank of a blog!  It invites ad proposals from those who give value to Alexa rank. It helps analyze your competition.

Love it or hate it, you need the Alexa traffic stats.

However, is your blog’s Alexa rank really an indication of your blog traffic?

Let’s take a look from a larger perspective.

The web is growing at a very fast rate. According to NetCraft, in 2011, the number of websites in the world just doubled.

In 2013, the web grew by more than one-third of its size. Presently, as per Internet Live Stats, there are about 1 billion websites in the world, though not all of these website are active.

It is estimated that 75% of these websites are inactive. We really don’t know the exact stats and it is really very difficult to calculate the number of active sites.

For estimation purposes, we take the number of active websites to be 250 million.

So, out of these 250 million websites, Alexa provide the information of 30 million websites. That’s roughly 12% of the total number of active websites in the world.

With about 88% of website being left out, does Alexa rank make much sense?

Let’s see the picture from another perspective.

Talking of the number of Internet users, it will be touching the mark of 3 billion by the end of this year.

Just imagine, out of the 7 billion people in this world, about 40% uses the Internet for various purposes. Not all of them are bloggers.

Majority of them are simply web surfers. These web surfers do not have the Alexa toolbar on their web browsers.

That’s right.

None of the major Internet browser comes with pre-installed Alexa toolbar, and the majority of the normal internet-surfing public does not install the Alexa Toolbar. Most don’t even know of this term!!

Alexa does not declare the number of toolbar downloads, but in 2005, it was believed to be 10 million.

Let’s suppose that this number is 30 million today, equal to the number of websites that have Alexa toolbar.

So, out of the 3 billion Internet users, about 30 million have the Alexa toolbar installed in their web browsers. That’s roughly only 1% of the total net users!

Now I know we can interpret these stats in different terms and it will all come out with different results.

We’re not concerned with the real numbers, but just the rough idea that we get by analyzing these stats.

The numbers of Alexa toolbar users is far less than the number of total Internet users.

Thus, Alexa ranking does not give you the true and complete picture.

Are you still obsessed about the Alexa rank of your blog?

Well, I know what you will say – you have to just follow the norm and do what all others are doing, because eventually it benefits you.

We all do it because the Advertisers give so much of importance to the Alexa ranking.

Alexa does provide its certified stats for all visitors to your blog irrespective of whether you have the Alexa toolbar installed or not, if you put their script on your blog under a paid plan, but I wonder if it is any better than your Google Analytics stats.

Okay, here’s one more suggestion I have for you. Try to convince the non-Alexa toolbar visitors to your site to download and install the Alexa toolbar on their web browsers. Voila!

This would increase the Alexa rank of blogs like Aha!NOW, whose main audience are not bloggers or Internet marketers.

Nevertheless, all my commentators and loyal friends are mostly my blogging friends and I am SO grateful to all of them for making this a wonderful blog community.

Alexa gives you the option to create your own toolbar and offer it on your blog to your visitors to download.

This is what the best non-technical and non-blogging sites can do to increase their Alexa ranking.

Another big boost to the Alexa rank would be when the mobile and tablet users will add the Alexa toolbar to their browsers. I’m waiting for that day!

Interestingly, the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions in the world will be reaching the mark of 7 billion! Wow!!

That’s very promising for our blogs, isn’t it?

If you are an android mobile surfer, then please visit the Google Play Store and download the FREE Alexa toolbar or widget of your choice.

So, I hope you are NOW convinced that a low Alexa rank or a drop in your Alexa ranking is not purely an indication of a drop in your blog popularity or the blog traffic. If you want to read more about this topic, visit Babanature’s post about how Alexa ranking works and read similar titled post on +Ana Hoffman’s Traffic Generation blog.

You should also read the latest blog post on Alexa that states that Alexa’s measurement panel is not only based on its toolbar but also on a very large and diverse set of browser extensions and plug-ins.

They claim Alexa gets its traffic stats from 25,000 different browser extensions, so it’s not only the bloggers, internet marketers, or webmasters, but people from other walks-of-life that should matter to you! What do you think?

In the end I’d say, if you are a good and consistent blogger, writing content that helps your readers, and socialize in the blogging communities, you will get traffic – whether they are bloggers or non-bloggers.

Don’t worry about Alexa, your actual Google Analytics traffic stats matters more!
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