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Increase Your Alexa Rank With Post Excerpts

Friday, June 1st, 2007...1:44 pm

Increase Your Alexa Rank With Post Excerpts


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As flawed as it is as a metric, many advertising programs still place significant weight on Alexa rank. Naturally if you are part of any of these programs you will want to improve your rank to maximize your earnings. Or if you’re like me you do it for the challenge, and the pleasure of seeing your rank improve.

The three most common and effective ways of improving your Alexa rank are the widget, the toolbar, and redirects. However there is another way to improve your rank that I haven’t seen discussed.

First, this is the explanation the Alexa FAQ gives for how rank is determined:

A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of reach and pageviews. Reach is determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single pageview.

I had always assumed Alexa rank was based purely on unique visits, but it would appear pageviews are also a significant factor.

A quick and easy way of increasing your pageviews is to only show post excerpts on the homepage of your blog. Keep in mind though, because rank is determined by a combination of unique visits and pageviews you should not expect a massive improvement in your rank.

Displaying Post Excerpts

There are three ways you can display post excerpts on the homepage.

  1. Use the <!--more--> tag when you create a post. A break will automatically be added wherever you place the tag.
  2. Install the_excerpt Reloaded plugin. It will display an excerpt according to the options you specify, such as how many words to display and whether to allow HTML tags. I haven’t tested this yet so I’m not sure if it works with Wordpress 2.2.
  3. Edit the index.php file and look for the following code or something similar. You may have something different within the brackets.
    <?php the_content('Keep reading →'); ?>
    Replace the_content() and anything within the brackets with the_excerpt() and your job is done. This method doesn’t produce the tidiest looking excerpt though, so I’d recommend only using it as a last resort.

I’ve been considering moving to excerpts on the homepage for a while now but I’m not sure how people feel about them.

Do you loathe that extra click or do you find it removes clutter and helps you to scan articles before reading them?

30 Comments

  • Nice tip, Daniel.

    I like Post excerpts and don’t mind clicking on them at all. It allows for easy scanning of posts, not to mention that there might be other SEO benefits as well.

  • Dan,

    Doesn’t this screw up full rss feeds? Or have you found a way to excerpt on-site delivery and still allow full feed posts?

  • Yep, keep in mind that by default, WordPress 2.1+ will shorten the feed at the “more” even if you have full feeds on.

    Great way to drop subscribers. ;-)

    That being said… there are plugins to fix that. I’m partial to Full Text Feed.

    As for excerpts themselves, I don’t mind so much if after the click there’s actual content. Clicking to see one more paragraph or sentence is rather annoying though.

  • I don’t really mind the extra click. Sometimes the author feels that the post is too long and splits it.

  • It depends on the length of the post. Damn Interesting would be unconsumerable without a ‘more’-tag, but Bifurcated Rivets would be a nuisance with it…

  • I truly agree on the first line of your post. Advertisers still use Alexa ranking as a metric to gauge the site popularity even though its flawed !; one of the reasons I have to work on improving my site’s ranking :)

    Never knew pageviews were also considered for Alexa ranking. Thanks for the info.

    But I am skeptical about excerpts helping in increasing the pageviews. Most of the search engines bring visitors directly the post and rarely these visitors visit the home page.

    Do you recommend turning on Partial feeds for the RSS subscribers. This would definitely increase the pageviews right ?

  • Sprague it will but like Chris has pointed out there is a plugin that takes care of that. I wrote a post on it not that long ago.

    Venu I get quite a lot of returning visitors so they will inevitably land on the homepage. It really depends where the majority of your traffic comes from, but trust me it does increase pageviews. Have a look around and you will find a lot of blogs using excerpts to drive up Adsense impressions.

    As far as RSS feeds go, I will always recommend full feeds. If you want to do some reading on the subject I suggest having a look at this article: Full Vs. Partial RSS Feeds.

  • WOW.. I have never thought about the alexa ranking on this one. I alway thought to give people to read the whole thing on the home pages.

    By just put into the blog, it automatically create the “keep reading” link. I think it will be enough for me now.

    It’s great to read your blog and learned new stuff. Added you to my technorati favorite blog.

    Thanks again!

  • I personally don’t like the more tag on the front page. I guess you could do it for a few articles now and then when they tend to be a bit long or if you have some pictures or screenshots etc…

    I’ve adopted that method and it seems to work fine.

  • I should read through all comments above. Now I realize that my feed stop at the place where I put .

    I appied Full Text Feed plug-in, but I guess it’s too later for those post already been feeded. I will wait and see if my new post will be full feed.

    I am curious why you did not use googlebot meta tag? I saw someone mentioned here that using noindex in the meta tag for home page and user index for single post to avoid duplicated content penalty.

    If I use noindex on home page, does that mean that my home page will not be indexed? That’ sounds not right.

    Any suggestion?

    Thanks!

  • I’d prefer that the ‘more’ tag is left off the homepage unless you publish more than one article per day.

    I visit my favourite websites usually once per day, so one less click is always better.

  • hmm.. That is what confuse me. The more tag is embedded in the post. So Wordpress will create a link to the post page.

    If you don’t use it at home page, when do you use it?

    I had one issues without with the home pages. I post an entry about my travel photo. It was indexed by Google. Now 2 weeks later, people search the keyword and went to my home page. The post is already archived. So they just left without search that post.

    I heard there is a plug-in that capture the traffic from search engine and automatically post the related post.

    Any idea?

    thanks!

    PS. This blog should be called “Right Advices” … :-)

  • [...] at The Wrong Advices writes how using post excerpts increases your Alexa rank, saying: A quick and easy way of increasing your pageviews is to only show post excerpts on the [...]

  • I use the “more” tag quite a lot, and since I started doing this my page views increased like crazy, it’s not even funny! When someone clicks on “read more” i see it as a vote, like “ok, this is interesting, i’ll read more”.. click.. :) I haven’t noticed any changes in my alexa rank since i started using excerpts though, great tips anyway! :D

  • Great tip, Dan! This seems so common sense, but I don’t think I would have ever thought of doing this for an increase in page views. DUH! I post once a day…maybe twice. Not sure if it’s worth doing on my blog. Perhaps I should give it a try especially on my longer posts.

  • Your right about the widget since placing it on my site I have increased ranking. The read more function I feel that most readers do not like it.

    I’m hoping that my next 3 month averag will be around 80-90,000 - I need more traffic. If you have some secrets on traffic feel free to pass them my way. I also noticed you have a good RSS readership - care to share a secret or two.

  • Thanks for these nice tips! Is there an Alexa Users’ Guide written by Alexa to disclose its “code of conduct” to the public?

  • when i started to increase my alexa rank i used the redirect from alexa to my website, and installed the alexa toolbar and would flick through the my pages a few times so alexa know that the pages are there and my alexa increased but that was about 3 months ago and i left it since then and it shot back up again

  • Great blog. Thanks for all the notes here.
    I’ve noticed my ranking to start improving about 2 months ago, not sure what it is since i dont use any of the tricks not even the toolbar installed, but I am happy that my ranking is not so bad..maybe is because of customers using the toolbar??

  • [...] of The Wrong Advices, explores how to Increase Your Alexa Rank with Post Excerpts, definately worth a [...]

  • I recently started using the more tag as well, I haven’t seen much as far as changes. I have seen a reduction of pages that were in Google’s supplementals.

  • nice idea, will give it a try. the redirects do not seem to work anymore.
    I get the 401 error

  • the alexa redirect no longer works so do you have any other suggestions?

  • I have used the more tag on most of my posts since the beginning mostly as a way to fight against duplicate content problems with the search engines. The extra page views and possible Alexa rank boost is an added side benefit. The only pages that I don’t use the more tag on are those that are less than 300 words or so, but most of my articles wind up being longer than that anyway.

  • good article.
    thank you

  • I love excerpts. It does cut the clutter and I get to click on what I want to read. I’m dyslexic and disgraphic. For those who ignore what it is. It’s like reading moving text. Some lines move back, some move foward, while others simply disapear!! I love anything that helps make a design “clean”.

  • Thanks for the information.

    I like post excerpts myself as well.
    As for it in a RSS reader (”The More” line), I prefer it versus adverts being shown. Enough info given to decide whether or not you wish to read the article and go to someones blog where then you can be bombarded with adverts. So this is just one more advantage to using post excerpts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Even my website’s ranking dropped, though by couple of thousands only.

    http://www.empxtrack.com

    Strangely, we are seeing a consistent increase in the number of unique visitors through Statcounter.com, the changes in Alexa ranking are slightly dis-aligned.

    Wondering, how to make our visitors install Alexa Tool bar!!!

    Gireesh

  • [...] of The Wrong Advices, explores how to Increase Your Alexa Rank with Post Excerpts, definately worth a [...]

  • I am glad to see that Alexa does not actually make a difference unless we are trying to sell advertising on our website. After reading your post I am going to just let the Alexa grow naturally as our website becomes more popular. Thanks for the heads up.

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