Archive for the ‘alexa rankings’ Category

Will Google Analytics please kill Alexa? Thanks!

I’m probably the last person around to rail about how bad Alexa rankings are. They are really, really terrible. And it’s no wonder. Have you ever run IE with the Alexa toolbar installed? As a friend of mine put it, “I hope you like pain!”.

Which begs the question, who the heck actually has that thing installed in their browser? It makes me shudder to think where that data is coming from. But what’s the alternative? There isn’t one (free, “objective” web stats), and so Alexa data keeps getting quoted and used.

Fortunately for the web at large, I have the solution. Google should introduce “Google Site Rank” as part of their Google Analytics product. Many, many sites already use Google Analytics, so all Google has to do is provide an opt-in “list me in the site rank”, and then those sites start showing up. This would be especially great since Google performs server-side data collection instead of client sampling. Thus they could actually provide some reasonably reliable numbers.

Of course, server side collection is more open to gaming, but Google is pretty good at detecting click-fraud already, so I think they could just publish a little “click-fraud potential metric” that just showed what percentage of page views looked “suspicious”. This would quell most gaming because people wouldn’t want that number to get too high.

In the bargain, Google gets more people to use Analytics, drives more people to Adsense, and the rest of us can be rid of Alexa forever. Yay!


Why is Google trying to compete with YouTube?

Google video seems to be trying awfully hard to compete with YouTube, and frankly failing miserably. They’re in good company as the YouTube juggernaut continues to crush all competitors – did you notice how Alexa is reporting that YouTube is getting more unique visitors than myspaceholy crap!

I don’t understand Google’s strategy. Let’s face it, their strength is not in capturing the hearts and minds of teenagers online.

What Google should do is to play to their strengths. Those strengths are search, solving hard problems, and building mad scalable infrastructure. What they need to do is to provide the equivalent of Amazon’s S3 service for online video. They already have all the pieces: video transcoding, video hosting, scalable storage and bandwidth. Why not outsource all those functions for the 200+ video hosting sites on the web? Let those sites duke it out on dating features and customizable avatars. By leveraging their scale, Google could probably save those companies money, and still make money themselves.

This would help get them out of the game of competing with YouTube on social networking features. That’s a game they’re clearly going to lose. But even better, Google could then operate as the search engine for all the videos they host. That’s their business, after all. Currently YouTube is getting a ton of video search traffic. But if Google hosted everybody else’s videos, then they could index all that metadata and provide a great search experience on top of the content – and then they could advertise around the results. I think they’ve proven that approach works pretty well for web search.

Update: Here is google’s new video page, inspired by YouTube. Note Google video moving to the Google home page as well. Oh well, good luck guys. Note the MTV deal, however, which does make a lot of sense. Perhaps the consumer visibility is just an attempt to grab mindshare so they can do more deals like this.

Video sharing sites – Alexa rankings

Let's check the latest rankings:

Youtube:            23 1,544        1,594 2,171    2,245     4,433
vsocial:         6,718        6,934       7,400      8,645      8,939    14,176   38,571

I'd say the big news here is video sharing continues growing rapidly. YouTube has gone from 58 to 23 since last I checked. Holy crap! 25th on the global ranking. Bigger than AOL, craigslist, facebook and the nytimes.

Other than YT, seems the biggest mover is grouper, going from 17k to 4k. Nice work, I guess they're having success converting the desktop users to the web site. has moved up significantly as well.

And I'm pleased to see that gofish moved up from 12,222 to 8,645, passing revver in the process. Looks like the ad sharing over at revver is not really helping traffic.

If YouTube is #1, then who’s #2?

Ok, let's get down to brass tacks. TONS of competitors in the online video sharing space, but who's actually winning? I wasted some perfectly good time today looking up people's Alexa rankings (yes I know, their value is dubious at best). I started with Techcrunch's original lineup, then added other sites I know about. Please let me know of anybody I missed.

Alexa Rank    Site
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I left off Google since Alexa just ranks the base domain, and others like iFilm because user-gen video is only part of their model. Some interesting things here. The advantage of being #1 is pretty clear, as YT appears way ahead of everyone else. Interesting though that zippyvideos and take #2 and #3, as I don't really hear about those guys at all. I'm happy to see my own outfit at least hitting the middle of the pack. Obviously sheer page views is a crude measure, but it's also one that many people pay attention to.