Alexa goes up, PageRank goes down, does it matter?

image by kevindooleyIt’s been a while since I checked my Google PageRank and my Alexa traffic rankings, so I decided to have a little peek this morning.

My findings weren’t particularly interesting, but they did get me thinking about the state of my business.

First of all, what did Google and Alexa think?

It seems that Google doesn’t like me quite as much as it did a few months ago. My PR has dropped from an insignificant 3/10 to a paltry 2/10. Why I do not know; clearly I’ve done something to annoy the big G.

On the bright side, Alexa has upped my ranking from 2,216,056 (which is probably as low as any ranking could be) to 829,909 (still rubbish, but better).

Why?

I think there are a couple of good reasons why this has happened to me:

  1. I’ve been messing around with my site a fair bit lately. I’ve had 2 site redesigns in the past 12 months, a change in the structure of the site’s content, and a hosting change a couple of months ago. Surely none of this can be helpful.
  2. Google obviously doesn’t think much of the links I’ve been building to this site lately. Pity, but sometimes these things happen. Google PageRank is a completely worthless gauge of a website’s importance anyway, so I don’t really care.
  3. Traffic to my blog has steadily been increasing over the past 3 months, so Alexa is right to notice my 362% increase in global reach. Of course, Alexa is just as worthless as Google at measuring website authority.

Why I don’t care about Google PR or Alexa

PageRank and Alexa rank are rubbish in my opinion, so what do I consider to be a good indication of my website’s performance this year?

  1. More traffic (78% increase in the past 6 months).
  2. More comments on my blog (but not enough. Get commenting!)
  3. More return visitors (my bounce rate has dropped from a whopping 93% to 59%)
  4. More sales leads (from less than 3 per month to between 5 and 8 per week).
  5. A higher number of sales lead conversions (no data available, but something seems to be working).

On the whole I’d give my progress a 7/10 so far this year. I’ve fallen short of the goals I set myself but I’m not too disappointed. Besides, I’ve still got 2 months to go.

So that’s how I use a tiny bit of science and a huge dollop of gut feel to measure my online business performance. How do you measure yours?

  • http://www.markantony.net Mark Antony

    I take the same view regarding PR, it does not matter to me. Far too many people are obsessed by it. Why? Are people so insecure of their own content that they seek verification of their progresss from google, or are they simply seeking better ranking for their site, to boost sponsorship or paid posting oportunities?

    If the latter they are highly likely to be penalised by google at some point anyway, leading to a reduction of PR, so PR chasing becomes a circle of meaningless activity.

    I recently started my sites again, new domain, of course having to build links from scratch, but most of the enjoyment is in the learing, and passing that on to others, and the hopeful sense that one is creating content worthy of display. That’s what I prefer to concentrate on.

  • http://www.kimwoodbridge.com Kim Woodbridge

    Dave – I think Page Rank and Alexa rank matters for people who are earning money from their blog through advertising. For people like you who are earning money through services, then the increase in traffic, leads, and a reduced bounce rank are all great indicators that you are doing something right.

    I would like Page Rank better if it were more transparent. Google updates it when they feel like it and I’m never clear about when it is going to happen. Suddenly blogs announce that it has occurred but I’m never quite clear how they know that. Maybe I’m missing the big Google announcement about something :-) And I’ve read enough articles discrediting Alexa that it’s very hard to take it seriously.

  • Dave

    I never really thought about using PR and Alexa ranking to judge the advertising potential of a site. Thanks for bringing that up.