Calculating visitors based on Alexa Ranking



What traffic your competitors are generating?

If you are like so many others, webmasters, site owners, publishers or digital marketers, then you need to know what traffic your competitors are generating.

This information is valuable.

However…
This information is not freely available - in fact, this is a commercial secret and getting it or estimating it is a competitive advantage.


Even more important is TREND and traffic history.. The more data we can access, the more information we can gather about their traffic over the years – and with this information, the better we can analyze our competition.

One of the rare gems of traffic ranking information out there is Alexa Ranking.

The algorithm used to calculate Alexa traffic rank is actually pretty simple. It is based on the amount of traffic recorded from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed on their computers. So, Alexa Rank estimates Desktop traffic better than mobile traffic. For mobile traffic, we are only able to make a guess based on general trends in Desktop/Mobile visit distribution. Even with this restriction in mind, this is still valuable information.


How to use this information to your advantage:

  • Compare site visitors of YourSite.com and YourCompetitor1.com, YourCompetitor2.com, etc. You can identify leaders in your niche and understand who has more visitors than you do and who has less.
  • Estimate visitor counts of YourPotentialCompetitor.com even before launching your business in a specific niche.
  • Spy on your competitors - see their trends, their rises, and their falls.

To convert Alexa Rank to traffic (number of sessions), I used an algorithm designed by Vladimir Luchaninov.

To extract as much information as possible, I have used genuine traffic information for 9000 domains and recalculated the formula every month.
Still, it is important to understand that Alexa Rank itself is heavily manipulated by some webmasters. Besides, some websites have naturally higher ranking than they deserve simply because they are webmaster-oriented, and we, webmasters, are more likely to have Alexa toolbars installed and thus skew the data.

Alexa Rank and estimated traffic


Another area for improvement is Alexa Rank data files.

If you keep old top-1m.csv.zip files, downloaded years ago from the official source - send them to me, as zip files, unpacked, to save the date they were created.
Together we will collect more information and make the traffic estimation process more reliable.