Why Alexa Can't Be Trusted

One of my biggest pet peeves in the marketing world are inexperienced marketers that use out of date tools for website information. Rather than ask for proper analytics screenshots or reports directly from the source, they rely on third party websites with inaccurate information as their basis for whether they partner with the website or not. Let me make one thing very clear and I will pull no punches with this comment: Marketers that use tools like Alexa and similar tools as their one source of information should reassess their marketing strategies.

Alexa is obsolete

I don't believe in beating around the bush about products that produce misleading information. The simple fact of the matter is that Alexa is obsolete. Not only does it inaccurately report data, it does so in a way that can be detrimental to your ambition and drive as a website owner. I've watched many people beat themselves up because they've seen sites with far less traffic and far less presence on the web achieve Alexa rankings far lower than theirs. This has driven these people to the point of breakdowns trying to figure out “why they are failing.”

The problem with this is that this ranking system is absolutely obsolete. For years, Alexa has assigned randomly ridiculous rankings to all kinds of sites with absolutely no reasoning behind it and with no logic whatsoever. The result: websites with significantly more traffic end up with worse rankings and marketers who use Alexa as a measurement of a websites success, choose to go with less popular sites with far less reach. This means marketing money is being wasted and used inefficiently. All of this occurs thanks to misrepresentation of data.

A smart marketer is aware of these facts, they don't try to use tools like Alexa, Compete and similar because they know the data they are going to get is simply inaccurate. Those are the marketers that are on the up and up. The old school crowd that still thinks Alexa is an important source for information are the ones you want to be wary of because they are also the people that are more likely to undervalue your work and offer you far less than you are worth for projects they have in their laps.

Determining your worth

So how then do you determine your true worth? Well, it's tough to do but fortunately, companies like Tapfluence have their own system of determining this. They pull your Google Analytics, your social profiles (including follower counts) and use it to not only determine what they feel you SHOULD be charging for your work (posts, tweets, instagram shares, etc) but they also encourage you to negotiate offers that come in through their service.


I'm a big fan of the way Tapfluence encourages influencers to get more for their effort rather than accepting less. This is the type of encouragement people who own their own websites need. Tapfluence isn't the only service like this out there, they just happen to be one of the ones I'm familiar with.

How about Klout?

I'm not a big fan of services like Klout either for similar reasons. Klout uses only social media to determine value and this is a misnomer given that blogs are far more important than social media contacts. Twitter has gone downhill as far as impact goes and has turned into a jumbled mess more than something that adds a lot of value and measuring tweet performance just isn't really all that useful.

When it comes to the power of marketing, content on blogs and similar places is still king and still offers more lasting impact than a quick tweet ever will. For this reason, services like Klout that exclude things like website analytics really don't feel like the right way to go as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, what about Compete?

Compete is similar to Alexa. They take random guesses at your traffic and attempt to establish reports on how well your website is performing. The issue is that these reports are also usually very inaccurate. This, again, leads marketers who don't know any better (sadly, there are quite a few of them) to assume the data is correct and take their business elsewhere. I've seen many instances where comparisons of websites that have traffic stats I'm familiar with produce very different data through Compete.

So what's your solution Mike?

The solution is simple, if you are a marketer and are looking to determine how much traffic a website is getting and other detailed information like bounce rate, page views and the like.. approach the source. Do not attempt to use third party services to “guesstimate” how a website is performing, get screenshots from the source themselves.

A good website owner will not only be excited to provide you with this data, but they will also be eager to provide you with more information, rather than less, giving you a much better look at whether they make a good partner for your campaign. Stop using tools like Alexa, Compete and Klout to figure out things that you can find out quickly and easily just by asking the person behind the scenes. That is where the true information resides and you will find that switching to this method of acquiring business partners will not only increase campaign performance but also help you build excellent relationships you can build on in the future.