Alexa Ranking Dropping Fast Due to Firefox 29 Release

Alexa Ranking

Over the last month or so I have noticed a lot of my clients Alex ranking dropping fast. And yet their organic traffic and backlink profiles are increasing. Generally when both of those are going up it reflects with your Alexa ranking. Now to be honest, your Alexa ranking doesn’t really mean much unless you are selling your site. The Alex ranking is calculated primarily by people that have the Alexa toolbar installed.

Firefox 29 Update Removes Alexa Toolbar

With the release of Firefox 29, came the removal of the add-on bar. The only way to get the official Alexa add-on to work again is to first install the The Addon Bar (Restored) to restore the Add-on bar back to Firefox and then install Alexa Sparky add-on for Firefox.

alexa toolbar firefox

I don’t see a lot of people doing this. Over time, the more and more people that upgrade to Firefox 29+ (I’m currently on 31.0) means that many more people will lose the Alexa toolbar. I think this is affecting the Alexa scores a lot more than people think.


What you do think about this? Have you seen Alexa rankings starting to drop? I think this really affects certain niches more than others. For example, bloggers usually have a higher Alexa ranking in my opinion just because other people visiting their sites are usually other bloggers and are using the Alexa toolbar.

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17 thoughts on “Alexa Ranking Dropping Fast Due to Firefox 29 Release”

  1. Thanks for this post Brian.
    I recently contacted Alexa, because my website and blog were gaining more and more visitors without any change in the other metrics and yet my rating went from 200k to 3.4 million!!!
    Our exchange was open and each of their arguments didn’t correspond to my reality. In the end I stopped the discussion because we were getting nowhere.
    Surprise, surprise, my rating has gone from 3.4 to 1.5 million in the last couple of weeks and continues to climb!!!
    I am wondering what sort of algorithm they’re using since the trend doesn’t correspond to my own website performance at all.
    Would appreciate your thoughts.

    • They have weird algorithms. They are doing their best guess to estimate where you should be ranking. They never seem to follow the natural patterns. I have been following Alexa rankings for over 10 years on some sites and I still don’t understand them lol.

      Alexa says this on their site:
      How can my rank get worse when my site traffic is getting better?
      The short answer is that any ranking system ranks you relative to others. The Alexa Traffic Rank ranks your site relative to all other sites in the world. A good analogy is running a race. Let’s say that yesterday you finished the race in 3rd place. If you race again today and have a faster time, you could still finish in 4th place if 3 other people run faster than you. Even though you ran a faster race, your ‘ranking’ got worse because other people ran even faster.

      However, a couple clients I have, I can guarantee you that nobody in their space is running a faster race and yet their Alexa rank is still falling, even with increased visitors and backlinks.

      I really think the Alexa toolbar right now is too blame for a lot of this… Check out this informative article about how Alexa really gets some of their information.

      • Yes I know all their “excuses” Brian, heard them all.
        Glad at least I’m not alone in having increasing hits and all the other elements positive and the rating decreasing alarmingly fast.
        As I mentioned, since complaining Imhave gained back a half of the rating! (Not that I’m complaining about that obviously!)
        It’s time we got more information on these crazy results that don’t follow any logic!!,

        • Yes your not alone :) Like I just commented to Patrick above. I don’t even bother reporting Alexa rankings anymore to clients simply because it is almost a useless number. Clients should be worrying about a dip in conversions or a dip in organic traffic/keyword positions because that relates directly to your ROI.

  2. This article doesn’t makes sense… Alexa shows your rank, not your traffic. So if you’re dropping other sites are ranking higher… other sites also suffer from the Firefox problem. So unless you have a page covering bugs in the old Firefox I don’t see how this could influence your Alexa rankings…

    • Thanks for your comment Patrick! That is a good point. I’m polling from about 50+ sites which have Alexa rankings all fluctuating a lot more than normal. Again this post is simply a proposition of what might be happening because of the Firefox toolbar (it is impossible to know who has the toolbar and who doesn’t) and how my niche of sites correlate with the others. It is true that Alexa is ranking, not traffic. But usually if you have more traffic it is because you high have a higher ranking… again that isn’t always true. I have never taken Alexa rankings very seriously because they are only estimates and data from their toolbar. One reason I wrote this article was to simply point out again that the Alexa ranking should be taken with a grain of salt. It is good for estimation, but I have talked with so many clients that think their Alexa ranking is more important than actual conversions or traffic in Google Analytics. I no longer even report the Alexa ranking to clients. They should be worrying if conversions are dipping or not, since that is the only number that relates directly to your ROI.

  3. Clearly sites that have a lot of IE visitors will go up on rank while those with more Firefox will go down. Small sites generally have a small # of visitors (small sample), so losing 2 or 3 regular readers can have an impact

  4. What? What the hell does the Firefox browser something to do with my Alexa rankings? My God. I’m using Google Chrome and the ALexa tool bar is working fine.Only my site’s ranking is dropping like hell.

    • Hey Nonoy. If you had read the post you would know that Alexa pulls a lot of its rankings from the toolbar and with Firefox 29 they removed this which means a lot of people no longer using it. Just because your using the toolbar doesn’t mean your site’s ranking won’t drop, as it is an aggregate of data from their estimations + the toolbar data as compared to other sites rankings. I wouldn’t recommend using the Alexa ranking to accurately measure your site. There are better tools for that.

      • Hi Brian, could you suggest some of these sites please? I used to use SEO Site Checker, which I found very useful, but then it stopped assessing my site and went for the big sell. Thanks.

  5. I have a website, a tech blog in Spanish. I was ranking very nice in Alexa like a month ago, now im at the rank 2,308,823 This is super bad for me, a lot of the PR Agencies wont work with me because of this, event when my Google Analytics are completely different. i get around 200K visits per month and still Alexa is dragging me down. This is not cool!

    • Any PR agency that is using Alexa as a factor shouldn’t be trusted. I no longer report Alexa rankings to any of my clients. It is a very skewed rating. Better to give them your traffic from Analytics and conversions/leads per month.

  6. I’d noticed my ranking plummet from around 400K to just short of a million since February and had also noticed that I couldn’t install the Alexa toolbar with the new Firefox. So hopefully your instructions will help Brian and thanks.

  7. Pingback: How to Claim Your Website on Alexa - Growth Miner

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