Alexa and the Power 150: What are They Thinking?
Ad Age announced they’re adding Alexa as a ranking factor in their Power 150 Index. Find out why relying on Alexa as a metric is problematic when evaluating websites’ authority or influence.
This sounds like it’s a band-aid to a bigger problem of not being able to adequately measure blog popularity and/or influence, which is something a lot of companies are struggling with.
While it’s nice to see some blogs recognized that I hadn’t noticed here before, it’s still extremely far from accurate.
The problem with Alexa isn’t that there’s a “tech bias.” It’s that there’s a “webmaster bias” – the group most likely to have the Alexa toolbar installed as they often use it to check their own sites’ rankings. So if a blog has a heavy webmaster readership (Shoemoney and even Copyblogger for instance, which is cited all over webmaster communities), it’s going to rank higher than a blog targeting more traditional marketing and media folks.
You’re also neglecting the fact that Alexa rankings are one of the most manipulated rankings in existence. I’m hoping that’s due to former ignorance on the subject and not a blatant disregard for it, as it’s been a known fact for quite some time. Then again, Technorati is being manipulated quite a bit with sold and traded favorites. You’re trying to make a judgment call on a blog’s importance, using factors that are either still subjective or based on things able to be manipulated fairly easily.
Long story short, the Power150 won’t ever be a truly accurate representation of the top blogs in marketing and media. No blog ranking ever will be. We see list after list surface attempting to rank blogs using faulty metrics, and unfortunately manipulation is just the name of the game when it comes to the Web and webmasters / bloggers trying to increase rankings, visitors, and profits.
Well kudos for trying, but at least for now the Power 150 is another nice piece of link bait, and not a whole lot more. As much as I’d be interested to see a truly useful blog ranking in any industry, I just don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future. But in the meantime, it does get kind of dry seeing newer quality blogs neglected over factors determined predominantly by age. Maybe we need a ranking of the best blogs from the last year… completely subjective of course.