Cloudflare attempts to recreate Alexa Rank with Radar Domain Rankings

Leveraging its immense global traffic data, Cloudflare announced a replacement to Alexa Rank called Radar Domain Rankings. The so-called replacement only ranks the top 100 sites, and like Alexa Rank, the data is likely irrelevant to most marketers.

Alexa Rank was one of the first scores to provide search engine optimizers (SEOs) and marketers with a broad view of performance for all sites on the web. Over time, the Alexa Rank score became irrelevant to most SEOs because they considered it a simplistic and inaccurate metric. It was replaced by Google’s PageRank score, followed by other alternative scores after Google stopped publicly sharing its PageRank score.

In a move that is perhaps part intellectual exercise and part flex, Cloudflare has created an alternative to Alexa Rank called Radar Domain Rankings.

One of the most used and trusted sources of domain rankings was Alexa [Rank], but that service was recently deprecated. We believe we are in a good position to provide a strong alternative.

Celso Martinho and Sabina Zejnilovic in Goodbye, Alexa. Hello, Cloudflare Radar Domain Rankings

Radar Domain Ranking (RDR) uses aggregated and anonymized DNS resolver and service data, which has an enormous global adoption rate. Utilizing its data, Cloudflare claims RDR is more accurate than the discontinued Alexa Rank because they are experts at detecting automated bot traffic that might look like regular traffic to other systems.

Cloudflare states that its Domain Rankings are a popularity metric [that] is best described as the estimated relative size of the user population that accesses a domain over some period of time. Unlike Alexa Rank, the company chose only to rank the top 100 sites in an ordered list.

The Cloudflare team concluded that it was virtually impossible – “difficult” – to accurately apply an ordered rank data model to sites beyond the first 100. So they used the most comprehensive model to determine the top 100 and a less complete model to put the top one million sites into buckets.

The first bucket contains the ordered list of the top 100 popular domains and is updated daily.

Cloudflare Radar Domain Rankings Top 100
The Top 100 sites ranked in order by Cloudflare’s Radar Domain Rankings

The remaining buckets are sorted by size, the sites are unordered, and they are updated weekly.

Cloudflare Radar Domain Rankings larger top domains list
The larger top domain lists with sites not ranked in order by Cloudflare’s Radar Domain Rankings

For now, RDR is both a vanity metric for the sites listed and an example of Cloudflare’s enormous growth and reach across the web globally. If its existence follows the path of similar metrics from the past and present, SEOs and marketers will likely find a way to incorporate it into their methods and tactics.

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Jon Henshaw

Jon is the founder of Coywolf and the EIC and the primary author reporting for Coywolf News. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of digital marketing and internet technologies experience. Follow @[email protected]