Better „Alexa Redirect“ Plugin Homepage

Update: As of January 11th, 2008 the Alexa Redirect is not working any longer.

AlexaAfter recently reading comments about WordPress plugins boosting your Alexa rating using the http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect? URL, I got curious and decided to check it out. It turned out that what I read at this address is true: the plug-in I picked up indeed alters the output HTML and cooks your links by adding the Alexa Redirect URL as prefix. I totally agree at the statement read at that blog:

Is this a good idea?

I certainly don’t think so. Although this sounds really promising on boosting Alexa, but will this affects google indexing? How will Google treat links that starts with redirect.alexa.com? I’ll leave the question to you…

I’m not writing to encourage the installation of this plugin, but rather creating awareness of such.

I had a different question: why is it screwing with the output HTML while there is a better solution ? The HTML links are crawled by the Google bots and other search-engine web-crawling robots alike, and they are not JavaScript aware. In the same time, it is the user (yeah, you) that clicks on a link, and it is this very action that needs to be „reported“ to Alexa using the redirect prefix. This is a very simple and elegant solution with several benefits worth highlighting: first, the output HTML is not processed to „cook“ the links, so the overall performance is better; second the original links are left as they are, so the search-engine robots can read them in the original form; third, the actual link „cooking“ is done on the client-side using JavaScript, which is yet another performance boost. So here it is,

The Better „Alexa Redirect“ WordPress Plugin
version 0.1 (Aug 19th 2007)

version 0.2 (Aug 25th 2007)

version 0.3 (Sept 18th 2007)

(Kudos to Ariah Fine for the original idea to do such a plugin)

Here’s what you need to know about it.

How it Works:

wp-alexa-redirect.pngThe particular plug-in scans the entire set of links on any page of your blog while someone is watching it and it adds a JavaScript event to each of them, which upon clicking on the link (no matter is it a Left Click or a Right Click) will prefix it with the Alexa Redirect URL: in this way the person visiting your blog will visit the desired URL by forwarding the URL to Alexa. Here is an example – you have a link on your blog like http://www.yourblog.com/page/2, but when the user clicks on it, it will transform into http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://www.yourblog.com/page/2. In the same time, when a Search-Engine bot like Google visits your page it will not trigger the JavaScript event, because they are not JavaScript-aware: and in this way you „Alexa-Rating boosting efforts“ will not mess your Google rating and search results positions.

Installation:

  1. Download the Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin
    (wp-alexa-redirect-0.3.zip 3.0 KB)
  2. Upload Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin to your WordPress plugins folder
  3. Activate the Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin
  4. You are Done!

Usage:

You are not required to do anything: once you have activated the Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin there is really nothing more to do. All you can do is I would however recommend that you keep an eye on your Alexa rating and monitor if the Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin is proving to be of any use at all :)

Here’s a tip to all Windows Vista + Internet Explorer 7 users (kudos to Frank for finding this solution): in order to make the Alexa Redirect work, you have to add redirect.alexa.com to the list of trusted sites.

Download:

You can download it from this URL: wp-alexa-redirect-0.3.zip 3.0 KB

Coming Soon:

Here’s what you can expect in the next release:

  • Options page in the administration panel for fine-tunning the Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin (done as of v0.2)
  • List of white-listed domains, for which to apply the Alexa Redirect technique (not just your blog, but probably your other sites too, and your friends’ sites too) (done as of v0.2)
  • The ability to apply the Alexa Redirect technique to the images posted on your blog (?)
  • Adding a link on the Options page to your Alexa Ranking page (done as of v0.2)
  • Detecting if redirect.alexa.com is a trusted site, and skip the „redirect-voodoo“ if it is not (generally because of Windows Vista + Internet Explorer 7) (as of v0.2, the plugin gets disabled itself if IE7+Vista is detected … still looking how to detect if redirect.alexa.com is a trusted site)
  • Offer a somewhat fair alternative solution to bloggers using Blogger, Typepad, WordPress.com, etc.

Updates:

  • (August 25, 2007) The new version 0.2 is out!

    All the promised updates and fixes applied, except for the image-redirect,which so far seems senseless, and the detection if redirect.alexa.com is a trusted site (so for IE7+Vista this plugin will automatically disable itself).

  • (September 9, 2007) Non-WordPress solution is out!

    As I promised here it is the solution for all of you non-WordPress bloggers! You need to download this little snippet:

    http://wp-alexa-redirect.googlecode.com/files/wp-alexa-redirect-js-snippet.txt

    and then place it in your blog. The best place to do so is to put it in the footer in order not to mess up the page’s SEO by leaving the upper portion of the page „free“ of senseless JavaScript :) I recommend putting it next to the </body></html> tags. The rest is simple – follow the instructions inside the snippet to learn where to put the domains you want prefixed with the Alexa-Redirect technique.

  • (September 18, 2007) Bogomil’s idea – let’s give him a friendly push!

    One of the coolest guys in Bulgarian Open-Source Community, Programming Community, Nerd Community, Geek Community, IT Community, etc. – Bogomil Shopov – decided to win a SEO contest and give the prize for charity. Let’s give him a hand by placing this little link here: Яицазимитпо лъгуг

  • (September 18, 2007) The new version 0.3 is out!

    This version features minor bug fixes.

Submit all your comments and bitter remarks in the comments form below. Good luck with the Better “Alexa Redirect” WordPress Plugin! If you think you can handle Google Code, go and submit the bugs you’ve found (if any), and the ideas you have about improving this WordPress plugin at the Issue Tracker:

49 коментара

  1. I just found the article I quoted at another URL, and since I am not sure which one is the original, I am going to post the other one here too – here it is:

    http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/wordpress-plugin-to-increase-alexa-rankings/

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 18, 2007 @ 21:09

  2. A bit of question to the wary, will it mess up your links after uninstallation?

    Comment by sylv3rblade — август 19, 2007 @ 12:53

  3. @silverblade: No. The links in the output HTML generated by WordPress are never modified – even when the plugin is active and working! That’s the benefit of it – it does it magic using JavaScript from your browser – on the „client side“, not like the other plugin, which messes up the links with PHP on the server side.

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 19, 2007 @ 13:04

  4. That’s going to be a popular plugin. (You won’t need to add the redirects to images. I’ll be reporting tomorrow. :) )

    Comment by Lucia — август 19, 2007 @ 14:49

  5. I’ve just tested the plugin with WordPress 2.1.3 (at Asido.info) and with WordPress 1.5.2 (at home) – it works perfectly with both of them :)

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 19, 2007 @ 15:08

  6. Great work! I’m an amauter hacker at best and so I appreciate someone improving on the concept.

    I would appreciate you at least acknowledging my plugin as the original were the idea came from at least. I’d be honored.

    Keep up the great work, I look forward to improved additions!

    Comment by Ariah Fine — август 19, 2007 @ 16:48

  7. @Ariah: Sure, I am sorry for not doing this earlier.

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 19, 2007 @ 17:03

  8. I’ve found two bugs.

    On one of my site, http://www.PowerPointPortugal.com, I’ve this error when I enable the plugin:
    „Warning: ob_start() [ref.outcontrol]: output handler ‘ob_gzhandler’ cannot be used twice in /home/ppp/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 430″
    After I disable it the error was gone.

    – – –

    And on all my blogs when I enable it it break the layout when you’re using 800×600 on the Extentions page, because you’ve a „word“ too large, that is „http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?an_url_from_your_site“

    Anyway, great plugin. I’ve using it on all my other sites now.

    Rui

    Comment by Rui Cruz — август 20, 2007 @ 03:49

  9. Nice work there Kaloyan.
    I’ll be trying it out today and review it tonite. Cheers.

    Comment by Tommy Chieng — август 20, 2007 @ 06:16

  10. @rui: Yeah, I also found such an issue. I am working on a workaround: if the output buffering is already started, then attach the JS snippet to the `wp_footer` hook. Unfortunately, you will have to wait for the fix till the weekend, since this is going to be one very busy week for me ;)

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 20, 2007 @ 12:02

  11. Cool Plug-In!
    How ever, it should check the domain before and if the link is local not link to alexa.
    It’s causing some trouble with lightbox and therefore a whitelist (I read that this is planned for a coming release would make sense.

    Comment by Frank — август 22, 2007 @ 17:14

  12. @frank: I myself have lightbox on Asido.info, and it works perfectly w/ the Alexa Redirect:

    http://www.asido.info/about/features/

    Can you give an URL to check the damages ?

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 22, 2007 @ 18:59

  13. I have your plug in currently deactivated. It looks as if some links are working but some not.
    This is only with Internet Explorer (I just checked with version 7), Firefox is working w/out any issues.
    I can activate the plugin when you are online, just send me an email.

    Comment by Frank — август 22, 2007 @ 19:37

  14. @frank: I just checked http://www.mister-einstein.com/ and it indeed has the lightbox ON, but I also noticed that the Alexa REdirect is also ON – it seems that you re-activated the plugin after all :) Anyway, I tried it in my IE6 and it works OK (I tried the screenshot image – http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http%3A//www.mister-einstein.com/wp-con…)

    Are you saying that the issues you have are with IE7 ? As I said I tested it previously with IE6, and now I tested your page (www.mister-einstein.com) with IE6 again, and it works fine.

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 23, 2007 @ 07:19

  15. @frank: I just tested it on Safari 3 for Windows – again everything is OK.

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 23, 2007 @ 07:20

  16. Yes, I thought you would come onto the site to check ;-)
    as I said, it works alomost fine but not with IE7 and Vista. safarai works indeed, also (checked it in the night (IE7 with Win XP).
    On three machines with Vista and IE7 lightbox hang when the alexa plugin was activated. I’ll dive a little bit deeper this weekend, I’ll let you know what I found out.

    Comment by Frank — август 23, 2007 @ 09:05

  17. @frank: I can add some browser/os detection and disable alexa redirect for link w/ rel=“lightbox“ when wista/ie7 is detected. I myself tested it w/ xp/ie7 and again, it is OK… Could this be some security feature of Vista – to block off-site redirects ?

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 23, 2007 @ 09:44

  18. @frank: I just tested it w/ safari 2.0.something and Camino 1.0.3 and everything is fine there too. The JavaScript snippet that does the `voodoo` is not that complex after all, so I assume it will work fine w/ all browsers – except IE7 on Vista, of course ;)

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 23, 2007 @ 09:51

  19. @Kaloyan: Found it! Indeed it seems as if IE7 and Vista are handling redirects a little bit different. How ever, adding „redirect.alexa.com“ to the trusted sites section of IE7 is solving the issue.

    Comment by Frank — август 23, 2007 @ 11:17

  20. @frank: great work! I’ll add this to the instructions

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 23, 2007 @ 11:41

  21. Hi,

    Do you expect to realease a new version soon to correct that bug?

    Also its better if you use some plugin for newsletters and tell us when its ready. :P

    Rui

    Comment by Rui Cruz — август 24, 2007 @ 09:49

  22. @rui: yeah, I expect to find some spare time this weekend, and post a new release. anyway, this is really a small project, and it is just made as a concept to show a better practice for applying the alexa redirects, so installing newsletter or whatever seems like overkill :) anyway, subscribe to the RSS feeds for the comments to this page, and it will be as good as a newsletter:

    http://kaloyan.info/blog/better-alexa-redirect-plugin/feed/

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 25, 2007 @ 19:17

  23. Hey, the new version is out! I am about to post information about it here, but if you are too eager to get it, go to the Google Code page and download it from there:

    http://code.google.com/p/wp-alexa-redirect/

    Comment by Kaloyan — август 25, 2007 @ 19:40

  24. does this apply to blogger platform?

    Comment by lady influence — септември 8, 2007 @ 05:32

  25. @lady influence, I think its just for WordPress. ;)

    @Kaloyan, heh, a new challange for you when you have the time:
    If I with the left button with FireFox and try „Copy link to clipboard“ it copy the redirect.alexa…

    How about a way, like Zap_NewWindow plugin to do that only when the page is „starting“ to click JUST and not just click and hold? If you click and hold withnou let the link be „clicked“, it appreas the alexa thing.

    Dont know if you did understend what I’m saying, but feel free to ask again. Lol.

    Rui

    Comment by Rui Cruz — септември 8, 2007 @ 11:00

  26. @rui: In order to support left- and right-clicks, I made the plugin use onMouseDown event, because this is the same approach Google uses on its search results pages – you see a link and it is ‘normal’, but on left/right click, the href=“..“ of the links gets swapped with a new value to some internal Google redirector in order to count the `click`.

    Now, why am I intercepting the right-click ? Because I want to `catch` the right-click menu commands, like `Open in a new tab`, `Open in a new window`, etc. This right-click menu (the context menu) is the same that you use to run the `Copy link location` command in order to copy the URL of the plugin.

    So, to sum it up – if you want to `catch` the right-click commands, you will always have the alexa-redirect prefix in front of the url. A somewhat reasonable solution is to make this configurable – from the plugin’s configuration page you can choose what behaviour to use – to catch only left-clicks, or to catch all clicks. Does this sound OK ?

    Comment by Kaloyan — септември 9, 2007 @ 13:24

  27. @lady_influence: I just copied the JavaScript that does the `voodoo` to a separate file and uploaded it to the project’s repository page. You can download it from here:

    http://wp-alexa-redirect.googlecode.com/files/wp-alexa-redirect-js-snippet.txt

    What you need to do is copy this JS snippet and put it somewhere in the footer of your blog – the best place will be next to </body></html>.

    Comment by Kaloyan — септември 9, 2007 @ 13:38

  28. DO NOT LOAD THIS PLUGIN…

    I may not have had the best traffic in the world when I started with this plugin last month.

    I was listed in Alexa.com with a traffic ranking of 3,000,000 + (lower numbers are better)… after one week of using this plugin i saw my ranking start to climb… 2,950,000… 2,500,000 … In just one week I gained a half million points…

    The following day however, my rating plummeted to 8,000,000 …

    Here is the alexa link to prove over 5 million points lost, after using this plugin.

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?q=bondageradio.com&url=bondageradio.com/

    look at the 3 month loss.

    in one month, with only this plugin as the traffic change… from half a million up, to 5 million lost..

    Alexa doesn’t play fair… they punished me for using this plugin, they might do the same to you…

    the concept is great… the implementation is great… all around high marks for this plugin… but … it had the opposite effect of what is was intended for…

    just the same, don’t use the plugin… it may violate the alexa terms or something… I was too pissed off to look through their legal garbage…

    Comment by DONT_DO_IT — септември 13, 2007 @ 03:16

  29. @bondageradio: Thank you for sharing this information! I apologize for the harm that this plugin might have brought to your Alexa Rating.

    Everyone,
    please monitor your Alexa ranking – check it at this URL:

    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=YOUR_BLOG_URL_HERE

    If there is indeed such a dramatical decrease in your Alexa rating, please TURN OFF your `Better „Alexa Redirect“` plugin, and share the information with us. This plugin is purely experimental, and it is meant to help your blog get every click recorded by Alexa without the use of the Alexa Toolbar. If it does more harm then good, please switch it off to prevent further damage, and share the information with us in order to know that it indeed does not work as expected.

    Comment by Kaloyan — септември 13, 2007 @ 10:20

  30. Another data point. This isn’t definitive, of course, but here are my numbers. I’d been steadily increasing in rank from August through September due to a nice set of links in August, and my site growing. I hadn’t cracked the top 500,000 before August.

    On September 18, I had peaked at about 108,000 and for the first time got excited about Alexa. I figured I’d install this and push into the top 100k easily. I installed Better Alexa Redirect on that day. I almost immediately saw a dropoff in my rank (down to 150,000) but attributed it to random fluctuations.

    But I was at 185,000 about a week later, 250,000 two weeks later. And as of Oct. 16 (yesterday) I was down to 350,000. During that time, my traffic and incoming links stayed about the same as they’d been August-September.

    I uninstalled the plugin yesterday, and my rank for yesterday is 79,564.

    I can not say these results are conclusive, though, because I also did several others things that probably helped at the same time. I installed „All In One SEO Pack“ (a plugin that optimizes page titles, descriptions, and keywords, and prevents duplicate content issues), and also a plugin that submits new sitemaps automatically, and added a „related posts“ tool that nearly doubled my hits per user.

    However, I think that a one day increase of 275,000 – from 350,000 to 80,000 – on the day I disabled this, after a month of slowly falling numbers, is pretty significant.

    My best guess is that Alexa is discounting the hits generated this way. It’s probably just an algorithm that ignores *all* hits from a site if that site accounts for an unnatural percentage of the general Alexa hits. That’s my guess anyway.

    It it works for you, cool. For me, I think – like most attempts to game this stuff – it just isn’t worth it. This is a well crafted plug-in though, and it does exactly what it says it does, I’m just not sure if it produces the results that are intended.

    Bottom line: more data is needed. I wish I’d not have made any other changes when I took it off, but I did and I’m happy enough with the results that I don’t want to tinker with it further. I’d definitely be interested in seeing others’ experiences though.

    Comment by Benjamin — октомври 17, 2007 @ 20:59

  31. Here’s a post for a guy that get his Alexa Ranking Boosted: http://www.sherizan.com/blog/?p=103

    Comment by Kaloyan — ноември 1, 2007 @ 12:53

  32. how is work this program pluging,please wrıte to me

    Comment by YAKICI — ноември 4, 2007 @ 14:06

  33. thanks…

    Comment by spor dalları — ноември 7, 2007 @ 01:03

  34. Nice plug-in, i am instaling thanks :)

    Comment by www.r10.net küresel ısınmaya hayır seo yarışması — ноември 14, 2007 @ 02:23

  35. As a note to webmasters trying to improve their Alexa ranking: Beware of using autosurfs or tiny pixel iframes because those could hurt you more in the long-run, since search engines may interpret them as blackhat SEO.

    Does anyone know where the reviews section of site details on Alexa is located? I can’t seem to find it (I’m looking at Top 500 sites to leave my review on.)

    Strange how my Alexa rank has been dropping steadily for a couple of years, even though traffic has been very steady: http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.pointsincase.com

    Comment by Dave — ноември 14, 2007 @ 05:15

  36. Thanks, will try this one now.

    Comment by fedmich — януари 6, 2008 @ 18:02

  37. Hi,

    I am having a big problem with uninstalling this plugin. I have deactivated and removed it, but my links are still being redirected… which is now causing all my links to lead to the 404 not found page for some reason.

    Did I do the uninstall properly… or how can I fix this?

    Comment by Nick — януари 11, 2008 @ 08:06

  38. …oops… I just noticed to replied to my question in wordpress support about this. The problem was not with this plugin but that I didn’t notice I still had the original alexa redirect plugin still activated! Doh!

    Comment by Nick — януари 11, 2008 @ 08:12

  39. @Nick: yeah, I explained everything on the wordpress support site

    Comment by Kaloyan — януари 11, 2008 @ 08:41

  40. As of today, it seems the Alexa Redirect is not working anymore.

    Comment by Kaloyan — януари 11, 2008 @ 12:00

  41. the redirect still does not work,

    Comment by cape cod getaway — януари 12, 2008 @ 17:37

  42. @cape cod getaway: yeah, it seems Alexa pull the plug on the redirect thing.

    Comment by Kaloyan — януари 12, 2008 @ 20:17

  43. i has put your plugin on my site..thanks

    Comment by imam — февруари 19, 2008 @ 06:46

  44. this code redirect cannot work…what must i do?

    Comment by imam — февруари 19, 2008 @ 09:35

  45. @imam: didn’t you read what the note on top of the page said ? As of January 11th, 2008 the Alexa Redirect is not working any longer.

    Comment by Kaloyan — февруари 19, 2008 @ 15:28

  46. >
    >Redirect is not working any longer.
    >

    sure ?

    I think with firefox is redirect down.
    with IE is redirect no problem.

    Igor

    Comment by Igor — февруари 21, 2008 @ 15:27

  47. @Igor: ha, you are right ! I wonder why it is acting like that … when I have more time I’ll investigate this, and I’ll probably modify the plugin to do its magic only if IE is detected.

    Comment by Kaloyan — февруари 21, 2008 @ 18:33

  48. thanks

    Comment by html kodları — март 20, 2008 @ 15:49

  49. i has put your plugin on my site..thanks

    Comment by Rize — април 20, 2008 @ 23:48

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