Does Alexa Rank Matter? Can You Buy A Fake Alexa Website Ranking?

"Mark, should I keep working on the Alexa Rank of my blog or should I dedicate my energy to doing other things? Does Alexa Ranking still matter in 2018 and will it matter moving forward?"

That's the question that college friend who recently opened his own travel blog asked me while we were having coffee at Starbucks yesterday afternoon.

I've become sort of his mentor since - according to him - my decade of experience as a tech blogger makes me a legitimate guru in this creative field.

If you're not familiar with it, Alexa Rank is an ancient site metrics system that determines the traffic ranking of a specific website based on the number of views that it receives from internet browsers with Alexa toolbar installed, among other factors.

Does Alexa Rank Matter

In previous years, online publishers noted that the main weakness of Alexa Rank is that so few internet users around the world actually use their toolbar (heck, do you even use it?) so the results might not be all that accurate -- and worse, it can be manipulated.

In fact, until today, there are still a handful of websites that offer an Alexa Rank Boost to website owners for a fixed monthly fee, which means that - essentially - a high ranking can be bought.

Fake Alexa Rank, Alexa Rank Booster

How do they do it, you ask? Well, some of these 'businesses' offer traffic swapping among publishers across the globe who have an Alexa Toolbar in their web-browsers; The more websites a client visits per day, the more traffic his own blog or website will get. Aside from that, I heard that some even have large scale operations wherein they have hundreds of computer set-ups with VPN and Alexa Toolbar that are programmed to visit the websites of clients who paid for the service.

Needless to say, it is for the reason above that I no longer trust Alexa Ranking System.

Personally, in my 10 years of blogging, I don't recall ever getting a fair Alexa Rank given the reach of my site. Even as a I write this post, for instance, there are webpages and blogs that rank far lower than TechPinas.com on SimilarWeb, which is currently deemed more accurate in determining a website's traffic, but have a higher Alexa Ranking.

I'm just glad that I have advertisers and brand partners who look at other, more reliable metrics like Google Analytics, Social Media Followers, as well as  Youtube Views and Subscribers in determining my real clout and online relevance.

Anyway, let me go back to my friend's question.

I told him that a good Alexa Ranking for his blog will only matter if other stakeholders on the site like his advertisers and partners consider it as a reliable measurement of reach and importance.

"If they value your website based solely on its Alexa Ranking, then by all means you should work on it or better yet, you can educate them about the weaknesses of such ranking system," I said.

I added, "But if your advertisers and brand partners are wise enough to consider your Google Analytics numbers as well as the actual quality of your work, then you shouldn't even think about Alexa. Use your time and energy to create engaging, remarkable, and useful content."

To wrap up, allow me to share this personal reflection on this topic for the benefit of budding bloggers, vloggers, or online publishers:

"In my full decade of being a pro-blogger in the technology niche, I've seen many, many bloggers come and go. Some stopped blogging because it was no longer financially rewarding for them or because they failed to get loyal followers or high traffic ranking. Those who stayed and forged on, however, were the ones who saw blogging as their primary passion, something that they'll do no matter what; Even if they won't make a peso out of it. Through the years, my blogging has transformed from a mere passion into my way of helping other people, including mobile consumers in the Philippines as well as my partner tech companies. It took some time for me to realize that but I eventually reached that wisdom. Beyond numbers, blogging should come from a deep creative passion that can not be bought and a sincere desire to help others. At this point, for me, these values - and not my Alexa Ranking - are the things that truly matter."

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