Alexa—the helper to tell a reliable website
We often find it quite a tough problem when it comes to the reliability of a certain website. No matter it is about buying sth online or searching for a journal article or simply just try to learn the definition of a new word, you definitely don’t want to make your time and effort worthless by using an unreliable website, not to say it may charge you money while give you nothing valuable.
To some extent, Alexa is the very search engine you need to use before you trust the website. Alexa is a quite useful resource for people to discover information about websites. Using the “site infor” page on Alexa, you can find almost everything statically about the website.
For example, if we search our law school library website by Alexa site info, it will show you the Alexa Traffic Rank and Traffic Rank in US of it. Traffic rank is a way to show the popularity of library.lawschool.cornell.edu. It is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors to the website and pageviews on it over the past 3 months. Traffic Rank in US means the popularity in the specific country. You can also get the number of how many times the website is linked to and somehow reveal the reputation. There are reviews (if any) that can help you to see how people feel about the website, which in our case; no one has reviewed our law school library website yet. There are many specific and detailed statics available in site info which allows you to have a overall judgment over the website you are looking for.
Another useful tools in Alexa is the “Top Sites” and “What’s Hot”. In “Top Sites”, you can find what’s hot in the websites world by country, by category or just see it in general. Ranked by their 1-month Alexa traffic, the lists definitely give you some idea about the most popular websites (maybe means somewhat more reliable ones) nowadays. Under “By category”, it offers 17 general categories with many sub-categories and related categories, which make it easier to search websites, cover a specific area. In “What’s Hot“, sites are managed by topics, which is easy for someone who is interested in keep up with the very hot issues happening in the world.
Another tool worth mentioning is the toolbar of Alexa, probably their most widely-used. With the toolbar, you can evaluate the reliability of the site with the features the tool bar offers you at the same time when you are visiting it. One great idea about the tool bar is that you can also be a contributor to the Alexa tool bar community. The more people use it, the more detailed and reliable evaluation of the sites you can get.
Next time when you feel like using a certain website to do something serious, you may want to check it with Alexa first. After all, it’s never too late to be cautious.