Fast 2014-11-03: New Poker1 features destroy Alexa rank!

“Added Fast” purpose: Allow Mike Caro to post spontaneous thoughts, tips, and information.

  • Includes Mike’s notes to himself.
  • Titles begin with “Fast,” plus date.
  • If expanded later, link is at bottom.

Also see:  → Why a Poker1 “Fast” category?  |  → All Poker1 “Fast” entries

Traffic at continues to increase. In fact, last month (October, 2014) set new records for both visits and entries read.

Specifically, there were 99,792 visits and 524,830 entries viewed. That’s up from the previous month’s 88,359 visits and 428,898 entries viewed. And these figures come directly from the Poker1 server, bypassing a lot of guess-work about gains or losses built into many web monitoring services.

So, why am I telling you this? It’s because Alexa, the ranking service herds of marketing people rely on, shows a monumental monthly fall from a 20,414 rank in the United States to 90,032 today! And I think I know why that is. [Update: One day later, the Alexa U.S. rank is even worse: 95,569. The glitch, if that’s causing the problem, should continue to register for many weeks, due to the fact that Alexa averages results over many days. Still, I’m predicting the turnaround will begin to happen within one week, now that the code has been changed. We’ll see.]

Not bad!

I know better than to put much stock in Alexa rankings, but they’ve been very constant, closely mirroring Poker1’s climb. In fact, we recently went for a 31-day period with rankings inside the top 20,000 sites (out of mega-millions) in the U.S. Not bad for a site maintained and designed by me personally, sharing my thoughts with you.

Alexa toolbar

I also know that Alexa largely bases its rankings on which visitors have the Alexa toolbar installed. That’s the main way it monitors traffic. Still, with so many thousands of visitors daily to Poker1, that factor is likely to even out. Yes, I wish all my Poker1 family had the toolbar installed (it is handy), but I’ve never made that a call to action, like some other sites do.

So, what is it that I think caused this erratic Alexa reporting about Poker1? It began to happen when I installed new features. Specifically, I used tricky code to force two daily headlines into the header area where the P1 logo lives. Also, I included a drop-down box of the latest 52 entries at the top of the home page (and at the bottom of every entry page). I’m guessing that Alexa visits those links, which don’t always change daily, and thinks that accounts for the content at Poker1. Maybe it get further confused because it doesn’t see a great deal of traffic on those 50-plus links, which are just a convenience to my users, but look like the main features to Alexa.

More traffic equals less traffic

Anyway, I added the features and the Alexa rankings fell so fast I hardly had time to gasp. So, I removed them two hours ago (moving the “Full deck” 52 latest entries to the left sidebar). And my theory is that the rankings will gradually begin to climb again. If so, this points out a major glitch in Alexa’s methodology. You can accidentally sabotage your own site by adding features that actually bring more traffic! More traffic in reality, but Alexa sees much less.

Lesson learned. And I thought I’d share it.

— MC | Follow-up link: → None

Also see:  → Why a Poker1 “Fast” category?  |  → All Poker1 “Fast” entries

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


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