Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Alexa - Hot or Not?

Not exactly sure why Amazon acquired Alexa, but damn it's a great (if aging) tool. For the one person that doesn't already know, Alexa measures traffic rank based on estimated reach and page views extrapolated from its large community of toolbar users. For the marketers out there, it's great for taking a peek under the hood of competitors and an honest gauge of your own site's performance. Take a look at eBay's performance (Alexa traffic rank = 8) vs some competitive sites (Auctions & Retail Traffic Ranks) or how the Chinese eCommerce sites are stacking up (Chinese Sites Traffic Ranks). Kudos to my friends Ed and Polly Han on their wedding gifts site www.beau-coup.com (43,375 - damn good for a niche eCommerce site). Meanwhile, seems like more people like to snoop on their old flings at Zabasearch (2,833) than look for jobs at SimplyHired (10,822). Meanwhile HotorNot (431) trumps both.

That being said, Alexa doesn't seem to have developed much as a site or service over the past few years. Out there somewhere (probably at the bottom of some manager's desk), a fairly powerful business model sits within the Alexa site/toolbar. Relating site popularity on the basis of links and Google secret sauce (which currently powers Alexa's own web search) obviously has trumped other search algorithms. I would personally use Alexa exclusively for search if it would invoke its proprietary traffic ratings and site details on top of whatever algorithm Google (3) /Yahoo (1) has cooked up. Makes you wonder if Amazon (13) would enable this if A9 (1,458 :( )ever caught on... (blockview does rock for looking at properties)

Curious that the only site Alexa doesn't measure or comment on is Alexa (no data), so there's no guage if the service is hugely popular or dying on the vine. If I'm willing to fess up to the traffic of the company I started (and sold) www.cimasystems.net (3,423,037 - the site's for auto dealers not the general public ;)), Alexa should be as bold...


Blogger Dave said...

hey Ro -

fyi, re: ZabaSearch/SimplyHired, i think you're comparing apples to oranges there -- ZabaSearch (and HotOrNot) is about people search; SimplyHired is about job search. they're really 2 different data sets.

that said, depending on whether you're looking at reach, rank, or views, the alexa data on SimplyHired is actually pretty comparable:

(and in fact, our trend lines are up, whereas ZabaSearch trendlines are down or sideways).

still, Alexa is probably not all that rigorous on their audience breadth -- probably not way off, but HitWise or ComScore would likely provide a more comprehensive set of viewers to make a comparative assessment.

in any case, we appreciate the link love ;)

- dave mcclure

12:31 PM  
Blogger Ro said...


Dave, simplyhired does rock (i personally think its the best of the job-related vertical search sites)

Just pointing out that people like to scout out old girlfriends more often than look for their next job.

That said, one of my biz school classmates, Jason Goldberg, just got a slug of cash (http://www.jobster.com/newsevents2.jsp?id=series_b_financing) for his job service/search "to be" site - www.jobster.com. Heard of them before?

1:36 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

um, absolutely we've heard of them ;)

Jobster appears to be going after enterprise recruiters while we are going after job seekers, so i don't think there's a ton of crossover. they did acquire one of our former competitors (WorkZoo) recently, but it remains to be seen what they choose to do with that property.

in any case, we're happy not to be competing for the 'old girlfriend' market -- i hear that's a pretty hot space too ;)

take care & hope to catchup with you sometime,

- dmc

3:04 PM  

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