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How does your Web site rank?
Alexa tells you

The Internet ranking service Alexa tracks the usage and reach of millions of Web sites. You can check your own site's rankings by going to Just select “Traffic Rankings” and then enter your site's URL into the search window.

You'll see your site's overall rank near the top, and further down the page you'll see a graph tracking your site's usage over the past several months, as well as more detailed statistics for your site's reach compared to other sites, and the average number of pages viewed by visitors to your site.

You can also see which other sites are most commonly visited by visitors to your site, and you can get a list of sites that are linked to yours.

It's a quick way to get a snapshot of your site's profile on the Internet, and what you find can be quite thought-provoking.

If you're interested in having this kind of information available to you as you browse, you can also download the free Alexa toolbar and install it into your browser. Just click on “Alexa Toolbar Download” and follow the steps. Once installed in your browser, the light blue toolbar displays the ranking of each Web site you visit, and shows you which other sites are most often visited by the people who go to that site. It can be a very effective way of finding related sites.

To try it out, once you have the Alexa toolbar installed, navigate to your own Web site. You'll see your site's rank displayed, and, beside it, the sites most frequently visited by visitors to your site. You may be surprised — or maybe not! Then try going to and navigate to your Sources listing (do a name search, or click on the Alphabetical Index). See which sites are most frequently used by visitors to your Sources listing. Almost certainly, they will be quite different, with the visitors to your Sources listing heavily weighed in the direction of other journalism-related sites.

Is Alexa just for computer nerds? Not necessarily. If you're putting money into your Internet presence, you want your site to be noticed. Alexa helps you see how you're doing — and that may give you ideas about what you could do better.

Technical note: Alexa compiles its statistics from a pool of millions of Internet users who have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers. Each user's site visits are added to the statistical database. As a result, some firewall programs flag Alexa as potential 'spyware' because it submits these statistics to the Alexa database. You may therefore be asked by your firewall program whether you want to allow the Alexa toolbar to access the Internet. For it to work, you'll have to say yes.