I want more Comments", Amb Caleb commented that he needed some tips on ranking. That got me thinking because I didn't have a ready answer for him. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't as if I hadn't heard of blog rankings before, but, I had never really done anything beyond that.
I had found out about both Pagerank and Alexa earlier this year on one of my blog improvement wanderings around the interwebs. Google Pagerank measures the reputation of your site based on the weight it gets via search engines and is ranked between 1 and 10, the bigger the better. Alexa ranks your place among other sites based on traffic and other indicators and the closer you are to 1, the better. Google.com ranks #1 and some blogs I checked were up to 25 million. When I first checked , I was happy with my Pagerank 4 (both nairaland and Bellanaija are also 4), and though a bit confused by the Alexa ranking of 1.5 million.
At first I thought 1.5million is OK if some are 25mill, but when I compared the ranking of my blog to some other related sites, it became obvious that I was missing something. Nairaland is 1k, Bellanaija and Linda Ikeji are around 10k. As I monitored,, I saw some new websites shoot straight to less than 200k in a week, and with virtually a tenth of my traffic. What was going on? What was the secret?
One may wonder why the need for such rankings. This is because most advertisers use Pagerank and Alexa rankings as the determinants of how much to pay for the clicks or impressions their ads get on sites and blogs. So, if you have ads on your blog, maybe google adsense or other affiliate or clickback and want to earn more income, you should be interested on how to improve your ranking. If you also write paid reviews or paid blogposts, good rankings also grant you a better bargaining power with those that want to pay for posts on your blog.
It was time for me to investigate. And I found it wasn't even a secret. It is right there on the Alexa website. Their rankings are only based on visitors to your blog or website who use their toolbar. So that was it, the toolbar? I was sceptical at first and decided to use my Google Fu. All the sites on the front page agreed that installing the tool bar is the number one way to improve your Alexa ranking. Some had other options, from about 5 strategies, up to 20 tricks. The toolbar was common in all, the others could have been just ways to improve your traffic. The thinking being that as your traffic improves, the more likely it is that browsers using the Alexa toolbar will be among your visitors.
Anyway, I still wasn't convinced. I had to try it out myself. I registered my other site, www.naijastories.com, on Alexa, then created and installed a toolbar. The toolbar I installed was on an Internet Explorer browser which I rarely used, and only for visiting Naijastories in this experiment. Within one week, the ranking jumped from 900k to 500k. After I saw the results, I began to use the IE browser to visit this blog. The ranking has now gone from 1.4 million to 900k. In two days! If I were in the court, I would say, "no further comments, your honor", lol...
For those interested, check your Google Pagerank, and download an Alexa Toolbar.
Remember, your Alexa ranking is just to help you track your efforts in blogging and maybe earn more. At the end of the day, the joy in blogging is to write what you like, and to interact with your visitors. Only great content and a stand-out personality will get your readers coming back for more. Happy blogging!