Major change has massive effect on rankings
Those who run watchdog news websites are scratching their heads and trying to make sense of the latest data released by a California company that measures website traffic.
According to data for July through September, almost every major website – from WND to the Drudge Report and Breitbart – saw its rankings drop on Alexa.com while pro-government sites mostly went up.
Alexa Internet Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon.
Familiar names in alternative media like the Drudge Report, Breitbart, Infowars, the Blaze, Newsmax, WND, FoxNews.com, and the Daily Caller all saw their rankings plummet while sites such as NPR.org, the Daily Kos, Democracy Now!, Media Matters and ThinkProgress all rose in the rankings.
The lower the number on the graph the higher the ranking, with 1 being the best.
Alexa portends to measure the traffic of thousands of websites around the world and then assigns a ranking to each site. The lower the number the higher the ranking of the website.
The data can be important because it is used, along with that collected by a handful of similar companies like Comscore, Quantcast and Google Analytics, to determine placement of advertisements that websites rely on to pay the bills and keep running.
Tucker Carlson, founder of Washington, D.C.-based the Daily Caller, said the data being put out by Alexa doesn’t square with that being reported by his own analytics.
“We had 13,557,850 unique visitors in September,” Carlson told WND. “By comparison, we had 12,784,656 uniques in August, so Alexa would be wrong if they’re reading the data correctly.”
The following are Alexa rankings for FoxNews.com and PBS.org:
The staff at Austin, Texas-based Infowars was equally perplexed by the numbers.
“As a certified member of Alexa, we find these trends troubling because in their very own subscription data on their site, we have had significant growth for the period indicated,” said Infowars reporters in an emailed statement.
Infowars is also seeing increases in another indicator, its largest YouTube channel.
“Our analytics indicate 305,000 views on 8-1-14 trending upward to 456,000 views on 10/11/14. This is views per day and represents a 50 percent rise in views during that period,” the staff said via email.