This evening I “discovered” Alexa. I guess I knew about it before but this was the first time things really clicked when I looked at it. Basically what they do is rank all the webpages on the internet, in order of the traffic they receive. My site that has been live for 4 years was ranked 9,561,167. All of a sudden I have a goal to increase that ranking!
I’m in the process of setting up a webstore, so I decided to look up my competition on Alexa’s site. Turns out one store which I had previously thought was decent competition and might even be a good supplier is actually ranked at more than 3.5 million, while several of the others were in the 100-200,000 range, which is more respectable.
The other cool feature there is the Wayback Machine which actually contains an archive of the internet going back to 1996! So I looked at my site and what it looked like when I started it in 2004. Then I looked at my competitor’s sites, and found that my most serious competition started in 2007 and has gone up to a 208,356 ranking in that time! This tells me that they are probably my most serious competition and are on top of their game. The one I mentioned earlier with the lousy ranking has been around since 2001, with only minor updates in the first couple years of its existence. It appears to have sat idly since then. I’m glad I never pursued them as a supplier (which I had been considering at one point)! You can use these tools to tell you a lot about a website from a business and competition perspective!