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My domain name (xxx.com) is used for my Web site (www.xxx.com obviously). My PC is a sub-domain of it (spud.xxx.com) on which I run Apache in order to test my site and others before going live.
Nobody else can get access to spud.xxx.com because of a firewall on my pc.
My current Alexa ranking is 116,364. If I look at "more site info" from the toolbar and then "See traffic detail" it shows that the traffic ranking is made up of:
spud.xxx.com ~ 53%
xxx.com ~ 45%
proofs.xxx.com ~ 2%
(proofs is another web server I run)
I would say that the above percentage values pretty much reflect my usage of the 3 sub-domains, so basically I have a traffic ranking of 116,364 through my use alone of Internet Explorer to view these sites (adminttedly I use it a lot). One person.
This begs the question, at what number does the Traffic Ranking actually show a significant number of people are using the site/domain? At what number is it actually a useful statistic? Obviously the difference between 100,000 and 2,000,000 can be just one person which isn't much (any) use for reference.
And shouldn't Alexa be making sure that there is a maximum number of hits per machine per day? Or that it is based on a maximum of one per day counting towards ranking per machiine? If they really want to provide useful traffic rankings I would say yes.
Currently it doesn't seem that it works in this way.