aleXa Alternatives – Metrics that Bloggers and Businesses should track
Hello there! Once again,I’m taking a break from travel posts to write about blogging in general. More specifically about SEO metrics. Alexa, a powerful tool for measuring visibility and success of a website is going to retire from from May 1st. In fact as I write this, I tried to use the site but it is not responding well.
So, how are we going to compare our blog with others in the blogsphere and how are we going to track our progress in this journey? I know a lot of idealists will say just do your job and don’t need to compare. But that’s not practical in the journey of a solopreneur isn’t it? We don’t have fixed salary. Until we become celebrity bloggers we need to depend on SEO and social media communities to be read. And when businesses come to us offering “free” guest posts, we got to negoatiate our rates based on certain metrics.
So, metrics are important.In the absence of Alexa, here I share with you the most popular blogging metrics that you can track for yourself and your competitors.
Domain Authority (DA)
About 10-12 years website owners could make huge money by using blackhat seo technique. They cracked it that Google uses link referrals to assess the authority of a website. So for any website create some content page with a random article on high-volume keywords, and link back to the article using spam comments on a host of other sites. Or create free blogs only to link back to your original website. Or simply buy backlinks from small sites (something businesses still do).
Fortunately for users and unfortunately for website owners, such techniques no longer work. Google’s algorithm has become more complex than ever and is way too intelligent to be deceived by such fake backlinks. A true backlink is when someone genuinely refers to your site for information and links back to it. For example, I linked this article to Moz, because I actually referred to it, and not because the admins of Moz paid me to do so (I wish). In fact Google has a way to figure out such notorious black-hat techniques and degrade those sites in their ranking algorithm . It’s this model that Mox spam score tries to mimic. Moz has some 27 signals to determine the spam score.
What do I do with DA and Spam score?
- I’d rather write a guest post for a genuine DA 35 site with 5% spam score, rather than a DA 60 site with 50% spam score.
- When 3rd party SEO service providers come to you with so-called opportunity to provide “free guest post” in return for backlinks to their clients, negotiate a good rate with them.Don’t settle for peanuts because they say it takes hardly 15 mins to publish their post. Tell them that your rates are based on the time and effort it took to build the DA. If they say your DA is too less, show them your spam score (which should be very low).
- I personally track spam score and target a score below 5%. If it increases, I’d look into the backlink profile and disavow spammy backlinks I got.
Domain Rating (DR) shows the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to the others in our database on a 100-point scale. It’s essentially a less granular version of Ahrefs Rank (AR).
To calculate DR, we consider:
When a domain’s DR is higher, more “link juice” is transferred to linked domains.
The source domain splits its rating equally amongst the domains it links to. So: a DR-10 domain which links to three other domains can influence your DR more than a DR-80 domain which links to a million other domains.
It is similar to DA, but many in the blogosphere consider it to be a better and more reliable metric to assess SEO-friendliness of the site.Basically, it merfes spam score and DA into one metric. DR takes for of the quanity as well as quality of the backlinks.
Now let’s dive into a real metric. In the sense, this is not what some algorithm guesses. This is an actual tangible data about how much traffic your blog gets. Anything that you get through search engine is organic traffic. It means, you get this traffic passively without doing anything. Your articles are ranking well, and users are coming to your site from search engines. This is what you do SEO for. You can easily check it on google analytics by simply typing the query in your analytics ui.
Social Shares and Comments
If you are using a social sharing plugin like Shareoholic, you can easily get the number of social shares for each platform. This will help you pick one or two main social media platforms on which you can focus your social media marketing strategy. You can also flash these numbers on your site to impress readers and businesses. Just like the number of likes on Instagram clearly influences the probability of an user clicking like for a post, showing the social share numbers of blog also influences the readers to share it. An ofcourse comments. Social shares and comments of a blog shows how engaged the readers are. Do they just come from search engines, read and leave? Or do they interact, promote and cheer for the blog?
So here are the five most important metrics that you can track instead of Alexa. Hope you found this useful. If you did, you know what to do. Please increase the social shares and comments right here, and help me improve all other metrics for my site.