Figuring out Alexa via triangluation.

Everyone in the blogosphere is going Alexa and traffic crazyNick even put Alexa ranking on his personal site! Every day I find someone posting an Alexa comparision, and I know advertisers are looking at them to determine where to spend their money, and the major players in the game check them out to track acquisition targets.

Alexa is flawed in a couple of ways, as we all know, but I’m starting to figure out that it is fairly correct if you have relative traffic comparisions. How do I know this? Well, because we have 70 blogs or so across many domains I’ve been able to create comparisons of various sites and hit within a couple of thousand pages how many daily pages a site gets. Also, many publishers like Nick and TeamBoingBoing post their traffic so you can use those stats to figure out how many pages someone is getting. Again, not perfect, but pretty darn close I’m finding.

It’s triangulation.

One big thing that doesn’t seem to jive is Mac websites because, as everyone knows, Alexa doesn’t have a Mac tool bar. Also, sites which have a lot of Firefox traffic like Engadget, Slashdot, Weblogs Inc., Boingboing, and Gizmodo take a hit. Our blogs are 20-40% Firefox/Mozilla these days, so our rankings are 20-40% off as are Gizmodo, Coronte, and boingboing.net.

Here is a look at Autoblog, Joystiq, Coronte, Boingboing, and the Weblogs, Inc. domain (which contains a bunch of niche blogs like the p2p blog at http://p2p.weblogsinc.com). It’s hard to see in this smaller image, but load the bigger one in another window.

I was trying to figure out Corante’s traffic so I used four other blogs to figure it out.

jason perry and wife

We know that our weblogsInc.com domain is doing ~150k pages plus a day (it is a only a portion of our traffic of course), that Joystiq does 50k+ pages a day, and that Autoblog.com does 80k+ pages a day. Looking at Boingboing.net’s stats they are doing around 125-150k+ pages a day (take out RSS/PHP/XML pages as JBAT explains here). So, the weblogsinc.com domain and boingoboing.net are at 3-4M pages a month. Right above the autoblog.com domain. Coronte in red is between Joystiq and Autoblog, or 50-75k pages a day, so they do about 63k pages a day or 1.8M pages a month.

We can start to confirm this by looking at Corante next to similar sites like Wonkette, Gawker, BoingBoing, and the Weblogsinc.com domain.

jason perry and wife

As you can see BoingBoing, Weblogsinc.com, and Gawker are all very close, and Nick’s traffic report on Gawker confirms this. Gawker gets 170k a day, and has a spike to 220k last week. So, Weblogs, Inc. and Boingboing.com are right behind Gawker at 125k or so recently. You can see Boingboing had a massive spike during the Target sex scandal and Tsuanmi video traffic surge at the start of the year. Corante is well below those three, but cruising with Wonkette in the 100k range. The major dip by Wonkette on the graph i would discount for now Alexa seems to have major spikes and dips at the end of charts and those correct themselves in a couple of days.

Does anyone know of another service that does as good a job as Alexa of ranking sites?

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