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According to Alexa’s site their free ranking system is based on traffic provided by their ‘global data panel’, which pulls from multiple browser extensions and websites that have installed the Alexa script. While traffic ranks are updated daily, a site’s individual ranking is based on two items:
It has also been reported that Alexa sources data from 3rd party providers to give a broader spectrum of internet users. If you go to Alexa’s site you can look up a website’s rank (and a few other stats) without installing the extension or widget. Ranks are given both globally and for specific country.
Alexa is a global ranking system that utilizes web traffic data to compile a list of the most popular websites, the Alexa Rank. The lower your Alexa rank, the more popular (for example, a site with the rank of 1 has the most visitors on the internet). Alexa itself has been around since 1996, but was shortly thereafter acquired by Amazon in 1999.
Today alexa rank now offers a full suite of digital marketing tools for a paid subscription, including; SEO Audits, analytics, PPC & keyword tools, and more. There software is very similar to Google Analytics.
Today in seo the alexa rank is irrelevant and easily manipulated with 3rd tools and scripts. Back in the day an alexa score was used to raise the price of ad space.