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Cheating Alexa’s Ranking System – Naughty Naughty!


I just read an interesting article on Esrun about how he’s able to cheat the Alexa Ranking System. Don’t know what Alexa is? Read below:

Founded in April 1996, Alexa Internet grew out of a vision of Web navigation that is intelligent and constantly improving with the participation of its users. Along the way Alexa has developed an installed based of millions of toolbars, one of the largest Web crawls and an infrastructure to process and serve massive amounts of data.

That’s an awful description from the Alexa website. Essentially, it’s a website that has users install a toolbar that then tracks your activity and sends back stats to Alexa. This allows for “rankings” to be created, as it tells Alexa how many people go to which site and other similar info. Not everyone has a toolbar so these stats aren’t necessarily correct, but having a high Alexa rating is a very good sign that a given website is popular. The more visits from someone with an Alexa toolbar, the better the rank.

Throughout the article, the creator talks about how gaming the system is actually done. He first performs packet sniffing to obtain the data being passed through the toolbar and then takes advantage by having proxies make use of the data in question by emulating toolbars of their own. He has several other interesting methods too.

Check out the full article: How to Game Alexa

1 Comment

  1. Comments  Anita Khanna   |  Sunday, 31 July 2011 at 9:14 AM

    really nice article

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