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...