The other day I was doing some research on other sites in the automotive space for my new online car magazine, CarNewsCafe, when I noticed something interesting. I checked our Alexa rank and page since I wanted to see what backlinks Alexa picked up were pointing to CarNewsCafe. However, I couldn't see all the links unless I signed-up for an Alexa Pro account. Checkout the screenshot below.
This was a surprise since I realized this must be brand new thing Alexa has implemented. I don't recall needing an Alexa Pro account in the past to see backlinks the last time I checked any sites a couple months ago. I guess Alexa figures that the data is useful enough that people will want to pay $9.99 a month to get it. Of course it is definitely not worth it in my opinion to pay for an Alexa Pro account since there are much better analytics tools out there you could pay for. I mean Google Anayltics and even a couple of free an open source tools will be better than what Alexa tracks about your website.
I was sort of annoyed but I guess it makes sense and it is their prerogative to charge. Alexa has data and they want to sell it and make money off it. Can't blame Amazon, who owns Alexa, for wanting to make some green.
What's odd to me though is I just don't see that many people that would want to spend money on an Alexa Pro account. At least not if you are a smart webmaster or blogger. There are much better ways to spend your money on SEO tools which help for determining backlinks to your sites and competitors. I would probably pay for an SEOMoz or Ahrefs subscription rather than give Alexa any money. Even though SEOMoz and Ahrefs are prohibitively expensive for an average blogger, it is a better way to spend your money for website research than Alexa.
Alexa has even admitted their data can be wildly inaccurate as it only counts visitors that have the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser. (I wouldn't have it installed on my browers by the way since it is basically spyware.) Because of this a lot of websites that have high traffic might have a low Alexa rank. It is a screwed up data company.
Have any thoughts about needing an Alexa Pro account to see backlinks now? Leave a comment below and let me know.