When we build
backlinks, submit guest posts, or simply
advertise on a site, we want popular sites because these are the ones
that are working. While no ranking algorithm is perfect and we can
never be sure that the sites we have picked are good ones (or that
they will remain so in the future), here are some ranking services to
help you decide if a particular site is a high ranking one or not.
1 Page Rank (PR)
The Page Rank service from Google is the most popular way to
measure the quality and popularity of a site but it alone isn't
enough to give us the correct idea if a site is good or not. There
are too many sites with inflated PR, so we can't trust PR alone.
The principle of PR is that sites are divided into 11 categories
with ranks from 0 to 10, respectively (plus the N/A category of sites
that are not included in the ranking as well). The concept is that
the higher the PR, the better the site. Sites that have a PR of 10
are very rare. Sites with PR of 7-9 are more common but still they
are a minority because this page rank denotes a very high quality
site. If a site has a PR of 5 or 6, this means this site is viewed by
Google as a quality site. PR of 3 and 4 are for sites that are about
the average. PR of 0 to 2 are for sites that are below the average
and therefore aren't the top backlinking candidate.
Unlike PR, Alexa doesn't divide sites in groups. Rather, it
arranges them in a list. The most popular sites, such as Google,
are at the top. The concept here is that the lower the Alexa ranking,
the more popular the site is. Sites with Alexa ranking under 10K are
considered exceptionally popular. Sites with Alexa ranking of 10K to
30K enjoy very good popularity. Sites of Alexa ranking up to 100K do
get more than decent traffic. It could be speculated that good sites
span up to 200-250K and everything above this are sites with low
It is best if you use Alexa together with PR. While there is some
correlation between the two, it is not an exception to find sites
with PR6 and Alexa of more than 100K, or with PR3 or 4 and Alexa over
a million. Just cross-check a site in two or more ranking services
and this will allow you to determine its relevance.
One of the perks of Alexa is that it also allows to see which
country the majority of a site's traffic comes from.
Compete.com isn't as through as the first two services because
they gather their data from a sample of 2 million US users only but
still it helps to get an idea if a site is popular in the US or not.
When you analyze Compete data, you will notice that frequently sites
with good PR and Alexa are almost unheard of in the States and vice
Quantcast is also a service targeted mainly at the US market. It
also gathers data from a sample rather than the general Internet
population but in its case the sample is comprised of Web site
masters, who insert a code snipped on their sites, thus allowing to
track visitors. Quantcast also gather their data from ISPs and ad
companies. Needless to say, Quantcast isn't very reliable because
there are millions of great sites that don't use its services but
still it is one more service to check, if you are wondering if a site
is good or not.
CustomRank.com provides a service that combines several metrics at
once to offer a joint ranking. At present, the services it aggregates
are MozTrust, MozRank, PageAuthority, DomainAuthority, Alexa, as well
as some other metrics, such as load times, date created, and whether
it is listed in DMOZ or not. The good thing about CustomRank is that
it tries to balance one service with the other to produce a fair
6 MozTrust and MozRank
MozTrust, MozRank, together with DomainAuthority and PageAuthority
are all methodologies developed by SEOmoz, one of the most reputable
names in SEO. Therefore, it can be concluded that these two metrics
are very useful for SEO purposes. MozTrust measures the global link
trust score, while MozRank measures link popularity. The more
reputable a site's backlinks are, the higher the MozTrust score. Both
MozTrust and MozRank use scales from 1 to 10 and here the rule is the
higher, the better.
ComScore is another company that uses a sample of 2 million users
to provide rankings and therefore isn't as reliable as PR or Alexa.
Similarly to Compete and Quantcast, it is more useful when you plan
your advertising budget than when you are looking for sites to get
backlinks from but still the top sites on the Internet are present in
ComScore's lists, so this service can be used as well.
8 Google Trends
Google Trends is mainly about search volume of keywords but one of
its less known uses is to compare how two sites fare over time or in
different regions. So, if you have some sites you want to get past
data for, so that you can predict their possible future popularity,
you can do it with Google Trends (Alexa also offers the trendline for
a site over time).
Ranking.com is one more service to consider if you are
dissatisfied with the rest. It's kind of limited because only the top
one million websites are included but if the site you are interested
in is not on the list, this speaks a lot about its popularity.
Ranking collects its data from an IE browser toolbar, which means the
data is skewed because no Firefox and Apple users are part of the
The list of ranking services doesn't end here but these are the
ones that are more or less the top ones. Use them in conjunction
(i.e. 3 or more together) to determine if a site is good for
backlinks. Some of these services are available as Firefox
extensions, so get the extension
and you will know more about a site the moment you open it.