Alexa: Why You Should be Using the Toolbar

Why on earth would anyone want to install a piece of spyware onto their Web browser? No sensible right minded person would ?unless you are a webmaster and you want to improve your SERPS ranking that is.

The Alexa toolbar is not "technically" spyware as it doesn't retrieve any private or personal information. It does however log all the sites you visit and as webmasters we can use this to our advantage. It uses this information to compile traffic ranking statistics and a relational list. The relational list is very useful as it shows what other sites people who have looked the current website have also visited. Alexa is owned by Amazon and it is possible to make your own Alexa toolbar with your Amazon affiliate code included. You can then place this on your site and get credited when anyone buys through Amazon using the Amazon button on the toolbar you've distributed, it is also possible to include a link to your site in the toolbar.

Alexa ranks sites from 1 to 5,000,000 and sometimes higher. Ranking 1 has the most traffic and so on, anything below 250,000 and you should be getting some decent traffic levels. This information can be used to determine how well your advertising campaigns are going and how traffic levels are growing over a period of time. This information can also be used to determine how you rivals are doing and keep you one step ahead of them. The Alexa information is also picked up by other search engines so you benefit from an increase in you SERPS as your site progresses up the rankings .

One drawback of the Alexa toolbar is that it only works on Internet Explorer and not the tool of choice for most webmasters Firefox. However I personally feel this is a small price to pay for the benefits I get when using the tool bar for research and to check my sites daily. Checking the stats of your own site has a positive impact on your Alexa ranking as the toolbar is not generally used by the general public so every extra hit from a browser with the tool bar installed is valuable. I have 1 site that is almost exclusively used by webmasters , As webmasters are the people who use Alexa more than any other group 500 page views a day are enough to get this site into the top 500,000 Another site that has 3 times the traffic but the visitors are mostly the general public so this site is languishing in the 2,000,000 's.

Why not try an experiment for a month, Download the toolbar and monitor one of your sites, once you see the data you get and the way it can be used you won't know how you survived without it.

Mark Thompson ran an IT consultancy in London for many years . He now live in Spain and runs an number of websites including The Links Factory.

In The News:

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M25 Dartford Crossing traffic: Five-mile queues build at the crossing ahead of Bank Holiday weekend  Essex LiveThere are major delays at the Dartford Crossing this afternoon due to the volume of traffic attempting to get back into Essex. Congestion is building on the ...
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Kwahu Easter: Police deploy drones to monitor festivities - Graphic Online  Graphic OnlineThe Ghana Police *Service* has deployed drones at the Kwahu Easter Festival as part of security measures to protect revellers.
Barcelona, Spain‘s urban plan to build superblocks: the 2 biggest challenges ahead  VoxThe twin terrors of traffic and gentrification, and how they can be addressed.
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A47 traffic: Three-vehicle crash shuts road in both directions  Cambridgeshire LiveDrivers should avoid the area whilst emergency services are on the scene.
Traffic and Parking Committee raises ticket prices, proposes lot changes  Daily EgyptianThe SIU Traffic and Parking Committee passed a motion Thursday to increase parking ticket prices for blocking crosswalks or wheelchair ramps from $20 to $75.
Traffic chaos because of Exeter roadworks - live updates  Devon LivePart of Exe Bridges is closed this weekend and traffic is backing up all over the city.
Lorry crash on A14 causing severe delays near Bar Hill  Cambridgeshire LiveThere are long delays on the A14 approach and congestion to Fenstanton.
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At least 5 dead after 3-day severe weather outbreak slams southern, eastern US  AccuWeather.comA string of violent storms that spawned tornadoes on Friday capped off a wild week of severe weather across the southern and eastern U.S. At least five fatalities ...
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Red Line updates: Station construction to start this month on College Avenue  Indianapolis StarEach week, IndyGo sends an update of the Red Line, detailing any street closures, construction updates and other road work that Hoosiers should know.
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LIVE UPDATES: Tornado watch issued for east Georgia as heavy rain winds down in metro Atlanta  Atlanta Journal ConstitutionNorth Georgia is waking up to heavy rain, severe thunderstorms and lots of traffic problems Friday m...
Scotland traffic and travel news – Stay up to date with the latest on the roads, ScotRail trains, airports a  The Scottish SunThe Scottish Sun provides readers with up-to-date information on what's happening across the country from the morning rush hour until you get home at night.
Live updates as roadworks lead to more heavy traffic on A180 into Grimsby - Grimsby Live  Grimsby LiveDrivers are blaming badly-timed temporary traffic lights for long delays in Grimsby.
Kensington Church looks to build Bloomfield campus at Detroit Country Day site  Crain's Detroit BusinessKensington Church is looking to build another massive campus in metro Detroit after entering a $3 million contract to take over property from Detroit Country Day ...
KLIA-klia2 link will boost air traffic, says Mavcom  Free Malaysia TodayPETALING JAYA: Airside connectivity between KLIA and klia2 will see the two terminals integrated and potentially improve traffic growth, says the Malaysian ...
26% of building works completed in Al Barsha Traffic Control Centre  ZAWYACompletion rate hits 23% in expansion of smart traffic systems project - ZAWYA MENA Edition.
LIVE: Crash at Elmbridge Court Roundabout this morning with latest traffic and travel news in Gloucestershire  Gloucestershire LiveThere are reports of a crash on the Elmbridge Court Roundabout this morning where two major county roads meet. Motorists are advised to approach the ...
Air Force Tests Remote Air Traffic Control Towers  National Defense MagazineGEELONG, Australia — An Austria-based company's remote virtual air traffic control tower product is beginning to attract customers in both the civilian and ...
'Traffic chaos' as sunseekers flock to Southend for heatwave  EchoDrivers are facing long delays as day trippers are flocking to the south Essex coast.
Man checked out after car crashes into building in Bilsborrow  Lancashire Evening PostPolice and ambulance were called out after a car crashed into a shop in Bilsborrow.
Burst water main causes heavy delays on A428  Cambridgeshire LiveA burst water main is causing heavy delays on the A428 this morning, April 11. There are long delays and queueing traffic due to the burst water main on A428 ...
Caravan crashes and flips blocking A27 and causing traffic  The ArgusA CARAVAN overturned forcing part of the A27 to be closed.
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M5 traffic: 'Heavy congestion' following 'incident involving horsebox' - live updates  Somerset LiveThis follows a three-vehicle collision earlier this afternoon.
Building fire causes severe traffic disruption on A6 near Lancaster  Lancashire Evening PostThe A6 in Lancashire is suffering from severe congestion after the road was shut in both directions at Bolton-le-Sands this morning.
Two lanes closed on M25 near Chertsey due to stranded vehicle - recap  Surrey LiveTwo lanes of the M25 clockwise were closed between Chertsey and Wisley on Sunday (March 31). Traffic was building as a car was stranded in lane three.
Dunkin', Case & Keg, new I-83 interchange: 5 big changes happening in Shrewsbury  York Daily RecordCrews have shifted lanes on the highway as work is underway to build a new interchange.
Glasgow LIVE traffic and weather: Queuing traffic on M80 and M77  Glasgow LiveGood morning, Glasgow! It's the start of a new day, we hope you're feeling *fresh* and ready to go. The great news is things are staying hot in Scotland's biggest ...
Wilmot residents prefer quiet, uncrowded life in safe, tiny hub  Akron Beacon JournalWILMOT — It was lunchtime on Wednesday when Steve Keim jumped atop his dusty blue, Ford farm tractor in the parking lot of the Amish Door restaurant.
Cumberland Academy agrees to build second entrance to alleviate traffic  Tyler Morning TelegraphIn response to ongoing traffic concerns, Cumberland Academy has agreed to build another exit from its high school on Paluxy Drive.
Glasgow LIVE traffic and weather: congestion building across city as rush hour in full swing  Glasgow LiveFriday's traffic and travel updates for Glasgow and the west.
LIVE news updates: JKLF Chief Yasin Malik admitted in hospital  National HeraldThe family of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik, who is currently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail, has informed that he is ill and has been ...
'A man just fired ... at the City-County Building': 911 calls, videos show Salt Lake City's distress before a police chase ended in a shootout  Salt Lake TribunePolice released body camera videos from an April 8 gunfight in the center of Salt Lake City on Friday, along with surveillance video from six crime scenes that ...
Live: News, traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire & South Cheshire on Tuesday, April 16  Stoke-on-Trent LiveHello and welcome to StokeonTrentLive's breaking news *service* bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Tuesday, ...
Wales live breaking news plus traffic, weather and travel updates (Saturday, April 20)  WalesOnlineHere's all the latest traffic, weather, M4, showbiz and sport updates from across the country. You can contribute to the live blog by posting your comments below ...

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