So the Alexa debate rages on. John Battelle in The Search Blog called for an Alexa we can trust, so we Alexaholics can stop having to qualify our discussions with “Alexa data is bad, but…”. A competitor appeared on the scene in the form of Compete.com, who I met at the TechCrunch party in NYC last month. And meanwhile, the Alexa features get richer, the site gets slower, and they respond to validity criticisms directly. They added the ability to compare 5 different sites, similar to the Alexaholic site (I guess they got tired of traffic being poached), 5 levels of smoothing, and permalinks for easy emailing of reports.
In an earlier post named The Cobbler’s Children Have Shoes, I praised Connors Communications for treating their in-house client, HitTail, with the same treatment as “real” clients. In that post, I also included 2 Alexa screenshots: one of HitTail’s diversified organic growth, and one of a startup whose only exposure was a single TechCrunch article. I did this so that after our impending TechCrunch coverage, I could compare the post-article effect. My hope was that with a product that really delivers what it promises, whether getting “crunched” could result in a new baseline traffic plateau, or whether the effect would just be squandered. The answer was exactly inline with my hopes. We have a spikey new high, which I’m confident will level out to a new high baseline plateau of traffic levels. I also have some renewed faith in the accuracy of Alexa data, although I feel its data skewing is still very real–albeit consistent. This is an important and interesting time to take this new Alexa snapshot, because from June of this year to December represents the full 6-month life of the HitTail.com domain and service, and you can witness the rise from a non-existent domain to Alexa rank #6,545.