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According to Alexa.com, “The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and data obtained from other, diverse traffic data sources, and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach).”
This is to say that the ranking is calculated using a proprietary methodology that combines a site’s estimated average of daily unique visitors and its estimated number of pageviews over the past 3 months. Alexa mines it data from millions of users around the web who uses a toolbar provided by the company.
The Alexa toolbar is available through browser extensions on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, as well as through the Alexa’s website.
For Alexa to be able to get these statistics, users must install the Alexa toolbar on their browser.
Given that it is not EVERY single Internet user (ever) that installs and uses the toolbar, most people tend to not weigh Alexa Rank very heavily. Alexa itself even admits that “Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel which is a sample of all internet users.”
However, the data Alexa provides can help you in most cases to have a “general” idea of how popular a website is, hence the reason it is still considered useful. But then, why check for such data? What do you need it for? Let’s discuss that next.