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Who started out the Alexa Rankings? How are they important to webmasters?
I do not exactly know who started out the Alexa website, but it is definitely very useful for webmasters. A lot of webmasters try to rank high on Alexa, because Alexa ranking is often valuable among webmasters.
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Alexa is an Amazon company. Alexa rank helps to understand the performance of a website based on how much traffic it is pulling. However, Alexa rank is not very trusted by people because Alexa rank can be easily faked. For instance, if you use traffic exchange program, you can easily elevate your Alexa ranking. However, the traffic from traffic exchange is just a number and it does not help your website in any way.
The Alexa ranking is one way of knowing the traffic that your website gets in relation to other websites particularly to the competition. Take for example search engines. Google is the number 1 website in the Alexa list which means Google gets the most number of traffic among all the websites in the internet. Check the ranking of Yahoo which was about #7 and Bing which was lower. You can have an idea of what Alexa ranking is all about and why webmasters are monitoring it.