Check Website Rank: Alexa Rank or Google PR?

Check Website Rank

Check Website Rank

We all want to know how well our site is doing. The two most famous metrics are Alexa Rank and Google PR (Page Rank). But just reading those metrics can be confusing. What do those numbers mean? Which is more important? What is the difference between Alexa Rank vs Google PR? Which should you pay attention to when you check website rank?

Why do some sites seem to have good Google PR but not so great Alexa rank?  And vice versa?

You might be wondering how I even know which sites have what ranking, right?

Ranking Toolbars for your Browser

I have installed 2 toolbars that I find really handy. (Since I use the Chrome browser, I got both of them from the Chrome web store.) Both are Free.

Both of these toolbars gives me the rankings of any site I visit with just a click.


Ranking of Sites

How these 2 giants, Alexa and Google, rank sites is kind of confusing and even counter-intuitive.  (As if learning how to check website rank, having to track and analyze stats were not difficult enough!)

With Alexa, the Alexa Rank ranges from 1 to many-millions. Getting a #1 Alexa Rank is best.

With Google, the range is from 0 to 10; with 10 being the best.

Top Alexa Rank = 1
Top Google PR = 10


The Confusion: Alexa Rank vs Google PR

At this time of writing, this (WordPress) site is less than 2 months old.  And in that time, I have seen my Alexa Rank steadily dropping (i.e. improving) while my Google PR has steadfastly remained at 0 zero 🙁

That was the first confusion.

Then when I went round to other sites during my researches, I found sites that had better Google PR than this site, but much poorer Alexa ranking.

Another cause of confusion.

Check Website Ranks - 2 Site Comparison

Check Website Ranks – 2 Site Comparison

So what exactly is going on?  What do each of those metrics measure?

Difference between Alexa and Google Rankings

If you do a quick search on the internet, you will find much confusion and half-answers to this issue.  There are of course some sites that explain each or both of these metrics in detail. (But really, do you want to punish your over-worked brain with this?  If you do, please check out Reference section at the bottom of page.)

These are my summary findings.  They are not detailed. They are not 100% accurate with no error of margin.  That is not the purpose here.  Here I just want to give a brief yet clear enough interpretation of what is going on when you check website rank using these metrics.

Note: There also seems to be no universal consensus as to the accuracy, dependability, worthiness, and underlying algorithms used to calculate the Alexa Rank and Google Page Rank.

Alexa Rank

  • much more based on traffic to a site – specifically unique visitors
  • dependant on visits from users who have installed Alexa Toolbar
  • good Alexa Rank (i.e. low numbers) is important to advertisers (so important to you if you aim to monetize your site)
  • based on a combination of “estimated average daily unique visitors” and “estimated number of pageviews” (quoted from – Our Data)
  • Alexa Certified sites are said to have a more accurate computed rank from Alexa.  Certified sites are those that have installed an Alexa script on their site.
  • good Alexa Rank does not necessarily help to boost order of appearance in SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)

Google PR

  • Google’s Page Rank is computed from an undisclosed but complex Google algorithm
  • back links (number of quality and/or relevant sites linking back to your site) constitutes an important fact in PR
  • Google PR plays a more important part in order of appearance on search engine results
  • PR places much more importance on link analysis (link outs, link in) than does Alexa Rank

Summary: Metrics to Check Website Rank

It is easy to get either obsessed or at the other extreme, totally indifferent to the metrics of Alexa Rank and Google’s Page Rank. Neither extreme is useful.

For most of us, we are too busy to want to (have to) get overly involved in the nitty-gritty of the tracking and tweaking of stats.  Yet we know they play a significant part in helping us get traffic and/or income stream.

So keeping an eye on both Alexa Rank and Google PR gives you, at the very least, a one-glance indication of how well your site is doing.

It is a cause for some celebration when both metrics are improving: Alexa Rank numbers falling and Google PR rising.

At it most basic:

  • To improve Alexa Rank – more traffic/visitors are needed.
  • To improve Google PR – more backlinks are needed.

There is no universal agreement that one metric is more important than another, though Google PR is perhaps more widely well-known. So now, even though you don’t know as much about Alexa Rank and Google PR as much as you might wish you did, you should still now have another piece of the puzzle when checking website rank.



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