Specifically, Alexa openly gives detailed site metrics and traffic reporting with its search results that a large number of tools and people use when evaluating a Web site. Also, Alexa has an extensive set of APIs and Web Services that are commonly used by a large number of third party search tools
Alexa is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, and so in my opinion it is likely to continue to grow in stature along with Amazon. As well, it has close ties to both Google and the Open Directory Project, which are both prominent players in the search world.
So bottom line here is that getting your site into Alexa and having it properly catalogued is pretty important.
But the process of claiming your site in Alexa is not easy if you are trying to claim a WordPress.com site. There is a lot of mis-information out there as well as incompletely written instructions (including on the Alexa FAQ site itself). I found this out the hard way today.
In order to save everyone some time I am putting together this article on how I successfully registered my WordPress.com hosted blog with Alexa.
Step #1: was to create an account with Alexa. This is fairly straightforward, just follow the instructions the site gives.
Step #2: Once you have your Alexa login and you are logged into your new account, click on the second toolbar tab on the top of the site titled ‘Claim Your Site’ .
Step #3: Enter the URL of your site
Step #4: Now comes the tricky part. You are given two options. The first is to upload a file, which cannot be done with a WordPress.com blog. You must use the second option, which is to add a code to a meta tag in your blog’s header. This is difficult because WordPress.com does not cleanly support this. Below is a screen capture of the Alexa verification page, followed by the steps you must follow.
Alexa Site Verification Steps:
- Copy the example meta tag given under Option #2. Make sure you get the whole thing. It looks like: <meta name=”alexaVerifyID” content=”YOUR ID HERE” />
- Open a new browser tab
- Log into your WordPress.com Blog.
- Click Tools on the left hand sidebar
- Click Available Tools
- There are three Text boxes in which to enter codes on this page. Only the Google Textbox works for this verification. The Yahoo or Bing verification boxes will not work with the Alexa verification process.
- Paste your entire meta tag into the Google Verification text box
- Click the Save button
- Open the Alexa verification tab
- Click the “Verify My ID” button
- This should do the trick if you followed these instructions, and you should see a green checkbox with a message saying “Your site is successfully claimed”
- Click the “Continue” button to finish your site registration.
So to sum things up…
I hope these instructions were clear and helpful to you. As with anything I’m sure the verification process will change over time. It’s likely that either Alexa or WordPress will simplify things since the current way of properly registering a site is quite finicky and must frustrate most people who try.
The catch in my case was entering their verification code into the correct WordPress text box. Since Yahoo has just moved its Webmaster tools to Bing, I naturally used the Yahoo verification box and was surprised when this didn’t work. It was only after a bit of trial and error that I discovered that one needs to paste the code into the Google text area for the verification process to work.