IBN: Defining Excellence in Electronic Recruiting


Electronic Recruiting

Our Rate Card



Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Recruiting News for the Human Resource Professional

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors

Please Click On Our Sponsors




Click On Our Sponsors

Click On Our Sponsors







Find out more
About IBN

Got a news tip?
Tell us at

Our Rate Card



Trends Reports



It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


Click On Our Sponsors The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

Home | ERN | Bugler | The Blogs | Blogroll | Advertise | Archives | Careers

Click On Our Sponsors

Understanding Alexa
(December 18, 2002) - 
Our article on HROToday drove the new publication's Alexa traffic ranking from 438,736 to 14,135 for the day. We improved  the ranking on the day before as we discussed the site with advisors and peers. The pass-around/follow-on traffic from our email newsletters will give the firm a sustained spike that will last four or five total days. 

If you were to examine HROToday's web server logs, you'd see thousands of visitors coming from interbiznet. You'd see additional visitors without a referring link. They come from the email newsletters. 

Web server logs are always generated by a website and the information is, theoretically, available to every one. They include information about traffic sources, internet addresses of users and page consumption among other things. The problem is that the information is so detailed (every file transfer is documented in detail so a single page might involve 25 transactions) that it requires an additional piece of software to even try to read it. To further complicate things, most of our readers use a website that is not controlled by their immediate department. Getting useful data about traffic performance can be an organizational nightmare.

It's even more complicated.

The structure of the internet is designed to speed communications first and be measured second. In other words, the cache of material on your hard drive, which speeds browsing, makes a certain level of measurement impossible. Further mucking things up is the fact that similar caches are usually organized at the company and ISP levels. The one thing you know for certain about internet traffic measurement is that it is severely undercounted.

But, as we've said before, all measurement systems are inherently inaccurate to some degree. Precision in measurement is a function of investment. Even the most costly scientific mesurement tools are calibrated to be accurate within a tolerance (plus or minus x%). The fact that measurement is always somewhat imprecise is not a good reason to avoid measurement. Consistemcy in the use of a measurement device is what you are looking for.

We really like Alexa as a baseline measurement tool because it is affordable, available and open. (If you haven't yet, please download the Alexa toolbar. It adds phenomenal insight to your browsing experience.) Alexa, rather than measuring actual traffic, delivers a report of traffic rank.

The traffic rank is based on three months of aggregated historical traffic data from millions of Alexa Toolbar users and is a combined measure of page views and users (reach.) As a first step, Alexa assigns a page views rank and reach rank to all sites on the web. Then Alexa calculates the geometric mean of these two rankings. Finally, based on the geometric mean, a traffic rank is generated. The six month trend is determined by comparing a site's current traffic rank with its rank from three months ago.

The Alexa Rank is relative to all of the millions of sites on the web. We find that this is a useful reminder of the fact that all websites are competitors for 'mind share'. It's really worth taking the time to read and understand the intricacies of Alexa's approach.

Alexa measures traffic to a particular web host, usually a domain (like interbiznet.com).

Traffic is computed for sites, which are typically defined at the domain level. For example, the web hosts www.msn.com, carpoint.msn.com and slate.msn.com are all treated as part of the same site, because they all reside on the same domain, msn.com. An exception is personal home pages, which are treated separately if they can be automatically identified as such from the URLs in question. Also, sites which are found to be serving the "same" content are generally counted together as the same site.

This means that it is not possible to use Alexa to understand the details of traffic to the employment section of a newspaper or a company website. It's also a good reason for establishing a separate domain name for your employment operations. It was part of the impetus for CareerJournal.com's name change (It used to be careers.wsj.com and was not separately measurable).

Those caveats aside, Alex makes it possible for buyers to gain comparative understandings of the health and viability of a range of web businesses. As we said yesterday, Traffic is everything. Downloading the Alexa toolbar is an important start in the process of building a constant awareness of the issue. 

If you already utilize a software tool for understanding your traffic, Alexa is still very important. While traffic measurement tells you about the performance of your site, Alexa brings context and tells you about the competition.

- John Sumser

Order Your Copy of the
2002 Electronic Recruiting Index
    Review the Table of Contents.

    Call Colleen at 415-377-2255 to place an order and mention the Newsletter to receive a $200 Discount. You can also email Colleen, if you prefer.

    Limited Offer. Call today.

Home | ERN | Bugler | The Blogs | Blogroll | Advertise | Archives | Careers

Contacting Us:
Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to consult with you about your project.

Copyright © 2013 interbiznet. All rights reserved.
Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Electronic Recruiting News



  • 2003 Trends Whitepaper

  • interbiznet Bookclub

  • interbiznet Listings

  • interbiznet Trends

         - Bugler
           Daily Industry News

         - ERNIE
           ERN in Email


  • BlogRoll
  • Integrated Employment
          Branding Presentation
  • Trends Whitepaper
  • interbiznet Listings
  • interbiznet Trends
  • interbiznet Bookclub
  • Top 100 E-Recruiters
  • Presentations
         - Recruiting Then/Now
  • Recruiter's Toolkit
  • Seminar In A Box
  • ERN Archives
  • 1st Steps In The Hunt


  • Our Rate Card
  • Demographics


  • BlogRoll


  • Branding Basics II
  • Branding Basics I
  • Out Sourcing
  • Guess Who's Coming
  • The Gap
  • In The News
  • Variability
  • Niche
  • The Market
  • Down market II
  • Down market
  • Eliyon
  • Happy Holidays
  • e-Learning
  • Who's Next?
  • Fargo
  • Phasers On Stun
  • Things Have Changed
  • Kleiner
  • Product Development
  • Noise>Data>Information



    Stocks We Watch:
    Public Companies
    in Electronic Recruiting


         © 2013 interbiznet.
         All Rights Reserved.

         Materials written
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.