Traffic Rank Essay

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Traffic rankings are ratings or statistics of websites depending on the frequency of web page views and the reach or the number of users who view these web pages. Both the page views and the reach are calculated through thorough sorting, computing, and averaging to arrive at the results of the statistics. Alexa is an online web information company that provides information on the page views and reach of web pages in the global community.

It uses the gathered quantity of both page views and reach and relates it to a certain period of time to be able to generate the results and provide traffic ranks for Alexa Toolbar users. Alexa calculates traffic rankings and reveals the results for three days in their charts or the trend graph. However, the main graph of this type of information is revealed for the data gathered within three months.  (Alexa, 2008a)

            Analyzing and evaluating the reach of a web site is a good instrument in measuring the popularity of the web page. This is because it provides quantitative information on the number of views a web page receives over time. Therefore, if more and more people visit the web page in a day or more than other web pages, this just proves the popularity rating of a given web page. The page view, on the other hand, measures the number of times that a web page was visited by online users. The results of the evaluation for page views is important for online companies because it proves the capacity of their services to be patronized by their online clients. If more people visit the pages on their web sites, this means that their company is able to incite curiosity and interest among online users. (Alexa, 2008a)

 If I use Alexa as a basis for traffic ranking, in terms of validity, the online Alexa community should be taken into consideration. For instance, Alexa does not measure on a broad level because it only measures the traffic rankings of their Toolbar clients. Therefore, the rankings are only presented with respect to their clients but not on the entirety of the online community. The data for companies under the same domain cannot be revealed as their data are presented collectively. Moreover, Alexa is also owned by another online company, amazon.com

            Compete is another online analytics website company that evaluates the web pages of their clients and determines the behavior of online users towards these web pages through the use of sampling or surveys. Basically, their clients uses the information generated from the evaluation of compete to improve their services further. Compete believes that the results of web analytics offers a way for companies present in the World Wide Web to understand the behavior and worldviews of online users around the globe and base their marketing strategies and decisions on it. (Compete, 2008a)

            To fully understand the process of online analytics and its significance to online companies, let us review the statistics of target.com, amazon.com, and walmart.com using Alexa. During the last six months, the number of visits for each website has been consistent. However, there was an increase of reach in all three web sites at the latter part of November. The reach for amazon.com has continued to rise until December but went down after mid-December. The reach for target.com and walmart.com are basically within the same level. Perhaps the increase in reach for all three sites was due to the winter season. Based on their ranking and page views for the last three months, all three websites have fallen on the charts. (Alexa, 2008b)

            Looking at the traffic ratings for the last five years, the statistics of all three websites seem to look the same. The reach, rank, and page views for target.com and walmart.com are the same because the increase in these three aspects happened for the two web sites at the end of each year and falls at the beginning of the following year. For amazon.com however, the pattern of its statistics is erratic. The highest reach, rank and page view of amazon.com was in 2006, at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006. Other increase in reach, rank, and page view has happened at the end of each year.

However, the reach, rank, and page view has reached its lowest in mid-2007 until 2008. Perhaps the changes in the statistics of all three web sites are dependent on seasonal changes. The highest seasonal contributing being the winter season. By looking at the data, I think there is no long-term marker trend for amazon.com. This is because as you can see from the statistics, it has fallen significantly after 2006. For target.com and walmart.com, there is a long-term market trend evident because of the consistency of the data for the two companies. (Alexa, 2008b)

            The customer base of each company stabilizes the staying power of a company in the international market, especially for companies who are present online because they cater to almost everyone who have access to the Word Wide Web. Since Walmart and Target has established their customer base in the U.S., their online subsidiaries would reflect a secondary customer base. For both walmart.com and target.com, their second largest customer base would be multicultural groups, especially those outside the U.S. who are trying to get the in thing in the widely-known progressive country.

I guess the same goes for amazon.com. All three websites are targeting a larger customer base by providing access for people around the globe through the World Wide Web. Target.com, especially is putting on efforts to expand their customer base by opening up seven other retailing websites in the internet (DSN Retailing Today, 2001). This immediately put their companys sales at a high. Walmart, on the other hand has started to incorporate branded and trendier lines to their product lists (UFCWIU, 2005). While amazon.com has published several language versions of their websites available for other countries, such as Germany, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, etc. (Amazon.com, Inc., 2008).

            Of the three websites, amazon.com has the most linked-in sites with a total of 170,900 (Alexa, 2008c). Walmart.com places second with 6,612 linked-in sites (Alexa, 2008d). Target.com places third with 6,254 linked-in sites (Alexa, 2008e).

            For companies who are or are attempting to use Alexa as an instrument for making decisions, business plans, etc. they need to know that reports from Alexa should not be the sole basis for their plans and decision. Alexa only measures people who visit the sites and the number of them who look through the web pages of the web site. However, it does not measure how many people actually patronize the products and services that the web page is providing.

Reports from Alexa should only be used as a secondary data and an instrument for predicting which product or service arouses the interests of the consumers, and knowing whether their web site is advertising themselves enough for consumers to visit it in the first place. Alexa also has limitations, in that they only monitor traffic in the World Wide Web for programs that has their toolbar installed and also for limited operational systems. So you ask, how about other online users who own different internet and computer configurations? (Stamatiou, 2008) Therefore, Alexa is only a piece of the bigger puzzle. Yes it helps in its own little way, but other aspects of the online market should also be evaluated and assessed.










References




Alexa. (2008a). About the Alexa Traffic Rankings. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Alexa

            Internet, Inc. Website: http://www.alexa.com/site/help/traffic_learn_more#reach

Alexa. (2008b). Movers and Shakers Traffic Graph. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Alexa

            Internet, Inc. Website: http://alexa.com/

Alexa. (2008c). Amazon.com Overview. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Alexa Internet, Inc.

            Website: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/main/amazon.com

Alexa. (2008d). Walmart.com Overview. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Alexa Internet, Inc.

            Website: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/main/walmart.com

Alexa. (2008e). Target.com Overview. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Alexa Internet, Inc.

            Website: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/main/target.com

Amazon.Com, Inc. (2008) Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Amazon.Com, Inc. Website:

            http://www.amazon.com/

Compete. (2008a). About Compete. Retrieved March 14, 2008, from Compete, Inc. Website:

            http://www.compete.com/about

DSN Retailing Today. (2001). Target.com: A Study in slow-n-steady. Retrieved March 14, 2008,

from CNET Networks, Inc. Website: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FNP/is_7_40/ai_73181764

Stamatiou, P. (2008). Why You Should Completely Ignore Alexa Stats. Retrieved March 14,

2008, from PaulStamatiou.com. Website: http://paulstamatiou.com/2007/03/07/why-you-should-completely-ignore-alexa-stats

UFCWIU. (2005). Wal-Mart Alienates Traditional Customer Base. Retrieved March 14, 2008,

from United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Website: http://blog.wakeupwalmart.com/ufcw/2007/09/walmart_alienat.html

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