Websites ranking platform Alexa set to retire Top Sites By Category list as it introduces most popular articles ranking

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Alexa is set to change websites ranking. PHOTO/AMAZON

By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN

Websites ranking platform Alexa is set to retire Top Sites By Category ranking  and replace it with the newly launched Content Exploration which helps readers find most popular articles and websites.

In a statement, posted on its website, Alexa said while Top Sites By Category list has been a staple in the market research workflow, it believed that bucketing sites into broad categories does not reflect the diversity that exists on the Internet today. The changes take effect on September 17.

“Alexa.com has a long history providing visibility into website popularity. To expand that offering, we recently launched Content Exploration which helps you find the most popular articles, websites, and related topics for a given search term based on public social media engagement on Twitter and Reddit,” the statement said in part.

Alexa says that instead, it thinks it is more meaningful to represent a website’s popularity in various topics by the engagement its content gets.

“Therefore, we are retiring our Top Sites By Category list in favor of our new free Popular Articles tool, which lists the top publishers and articles for hundreds of topics based on public social media engagement,” it added.

It noted that for Advanced subscribers, its Content Exploration tool unlocks access to this data for unlimited topics and it provides a comprehensive view of the various topics that a given site covers and the social engagement it receives for those topics.

“Furthermore, Advanced subscribers can use Audience Overlap to understand the nature of a site based on related sites that share an audience,” it observed.

The changes come at a time competition for online advertising revenue has intensified as local news organisations are investing in a digital future, restructuring newsrooms and diversifying business models to fit into the changing media environment around the world.

Nation Media Group’s flagship website nation.co.ke has dropped from number 3 to number 20 on the Alexa Top 50 websites in Kenya after introduction of a new domain name. PHOTO/SCREENSHOT

Nation Media Group’s flagship news website nation.co.ke has dropped from number three on the list of top 50 websites in Kenya to number 20 according to the latest Alexa ranking.

This happened moment after the company changed its Daily Nation domain name from nation.co.ke to nation.africa resulting in it being overtaken by its perennial rival Standard Group’s flagship news website The Standard.

The company has since restored  nation.co.ke which is listed at number 20 on the Alexa list of top 50 websites in Kenya while the new domain nation.africa  is ranked at number 36.

For nearly four years, digital news platform Tuko had emerged as Kenya’s number one online news website. But stiff competition from Kenya’s two leading media companies Nation Media Group and Standard Group saw it pushed to number three among the top local news websites on Alexa’s top 50 ranking.

Before changing its domain name nation.co.ke was Kenya’s number one news website in the country followed by The Standard, in number two position, Tuko number three and then the new kid on the block Kenyans number four.

It is not yet clear what has caused the sudden drop of Daily Nation website ranking after its migration to a new domain as such a process that was expected to be seamless given the information technology knowhow at NMG’s disposal. However, experts link the problem to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) complications.

The transition from print to digital has presented challenges to media houses not only in Kenya but globally as they seek new sources of revenue and target new audiences.

The migration from print to digital-first approach is emphasizing economies of scale, pursued through the acquisition of a portfolio of different titles that, in aggregate, can draw the largest possible audience, which in turn are primarily monetized through advertising according to a new report by Reuters Institute.

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