Alexa Top 100: What Makes These Websites So Successful

Jun 2014

Posted by: Category:Internet Marketing

Your website can also be the one as famous as a Hollywood star. Or even more.

However, it takes lots of efforts and few infallible characteristics that appeal the wide gamut of billions of Internet users. Working through my Internet marketing career of few years, I have learned some really helpful tactics that can bring your website an enormous success.  

What are those characteristics? What is the proof that they really work?

I have the answer. But you will have to read this post fully to find it out. As a part of my pursuit for ultimate Internet success, I have many times wondered what was it that made Google to be most visited website & Facebook, that is merely a social networking site, to rank on number 2 beating so many previously reputed websites?  

As a treasure of that quest, I have analyzed Top 100 Alexa ranked websites and derived few simple conclusions that may be useful to you to get idea of what works exceptionally in highly competitive world of Internet. So here we go:

What Makes A Website Immensely Successful? An Insight In Alexa Top 100

Before reviewing the Alexa top 100 sites, I would like to present you a simple chart of those websites & It is as follows:

Alexa Rank Website Niche Content Based Service Based User Sharing Specific Purpose Content Diversity (Low-1/Moderate-2/High-3) User generated content
1 Search Engine y y 3
2 Social Networking y y y 3 y
3 Video Sharing y y y 1 y
4 Web Portal y y 3
5 Search Engine y y 3
6 Informational Resource y y 1 y
7 Web Portal y y 3
8 Online Shopping y y
9 Social Networking y y y 2 y
10 Web Portal y y 3
11 Online Shopping y y
12 Social/Business Networking y y y y 2 y
13 Search Engine y y 3
14 Web Portal y y 3
15 Web Portal y y 3
16 Blogging Platform y y y 3 y
17 Web Portal y y 3
18 Online Shopping y y
19 Web Portal y y 3
20 Social Networking y y y 3 y
21 Web Portal y y 3
22 Blogging Platform y y y 3 y
23 Search Engine y y 3
24 Online Shopping y y
25 Search Engine y y 3
26 Search Engine y y 3
27 Image Sharing y y 1 y
28 Online/Offline Computer Security y
29 Search Engine y y 3
30 Search Engine y y 3
31 Web Portal y y 3
32 Search Engine- Q&A y y y 3
33 Mobile Photo & Video Sharing/ Social Networking y y y y 1 y
34 Search Engine y y 3
35 Blogging Platform y y y 3 y
36 Web Portal y y 3
37 Search Engine y y 3
38 Search Engine y y 3
39 Web Portal y y 3
40 Porn y y 1 y
41 Web Portal y y 3
42 Search Engine y y 3
43 Online Transaction y y
44 Search Engine y y 3
45 Search Engine y y 3
46 Online Advertising y y
47 Niche Information (Movies) y y 3
48 Company Website y y
49 Image Sharing y y 1 y
50 Classifieds y y y y 1 y
51 Paid To Click Network y y
52 Online Shopping y y
53 Web Portal/ Social y y y 3 y
54 Service Domain Of Twitter y y
55 Porn y y 1 y
56 Search Engine y y 3
57 Question & Answers y y y 2 y
58 Web Portal/ Free Service y y 3
59 Search Engine y y 3
60 Search Engine y y 3
61 Web Portal y y 3
62 News y y 3
63 News y y 3
64 Web Portal y y 3
65 Video Sharing y y y 1 y
66 Celebrity News y y 3 y
67 Online Shopping y y
68 Blogging Platform y y y 3 y
69 B2B Marketplace y y
70 Social Networking y y y 3 y
71 Web Portal y y 3
72 Search Engine y y 3
73 Web Portal y y 3
74 Web Portal y y 3
75 Google Service Domain y y
76 News & Viral y 3
77 Publishing Platform y y
78 Web Hosting Service y y
79 Porn y y 1 y
80 Torrent Download y y y y 3 y
81 Paid To Click Network y y
82 Search Engine y y 3
83 Online Shopping y y
84 Torrent Download y y y y 3 y
85 Content Delivery Network y y
86 Online Shopping y y
87 Search Engine y y 3
88 Online Payment Facility y y
89 Video Sharing y y y 1 y
90 Online Streaming Media y y 1 y
91 Sports News y y 3
92 Web Portal y y 3
93 Blogger Service Domain y y
94 News y y 3
95 Shopping y y
96 Video Sharing y y y 1 y
97 Porn y y 1 y
98 Online Shopping y y
99 DailymaiI.CO.UK News y y 3
100 Web Portal y y 3

So some quick insights according to this chart are:

– Among top 100 websites, 75 are content based, 31 are service based and 15 are user sharing websites.

– Among top 100 websites, 77 serves for very specific purpose & are ultimate for that. For example, is a website for service that is used as a 3rd party payment gateway.

– Most prominent type of websites in Alexa top 100 are Web Portals (29), Search engines (19), Online shopping (8), News portals (5), Social networking sites (5), Video sharing websites (4) & Porn websites (4)

– Among 75 content based websites in Alexa top 100, 58 websites have high content diversity, 3 have moderate content diversity and 13 have lowest content diversity (Content diversity here means the variety of content formats used over website. E.g. Pinterest is image sharing platform with mostly visual content which means it has low content diversity)

-Among 75 content based websites, 28 serve user generated content

Statistics can say much more, but as per my observation, few most infallible takeaways from top 100 Alexa ranked websites are as follows:

Focus on particular service/goal:

As seen in table, 77 websites among top 100 serves users for very specific purpose while the rest are web portals that provide multiple different services with engaging content on day-to-day basis to their huge base of users. So the conclusion is, focus on particular service and provide it so brilliantly that none other can do it. For example, when you need to search on a topic over Internet, you will inevitably remind Google first of all other search engines & when you have to look for your friends over Internet, you will remind Facebook!


Provide content diversity based on your goal:

Once your goal is set & except you are targeting a particular form of content users i.e. images, videos, text etc, diversify the content on your site as much as you can. Facebook or Google couldn’t have achieved their spots if they had not diversified their content.


Produce lots of content:

The more content your website has, the more chances of rankings it will have and the more users will visit it. However, never bargain with content quality. Users won’t waste their time for useless content even if there is tons of content on your site.


Consistently update content:

Almost all websites in Alexa top 100 are regularly updated with lots of content everyday. So produce lots of valuable web pages everyday and if you can’t, simply allow users to generate the content. However, have some moderation or user approval mechanism to filter out the clutter.


Keep website updated with latest design:

From to in the top 100 Alexa list, every website has kept updating its user interface time to time. Website that doesn’t change it looks and feel with time is always left back in lethal competition of Internet. However, if it is purely textual content based website like or, it won’t need more changes in its looks to stay intact on traffic.


Use different subdomains for different services:

However you can have as many subdomains as you wish, the domain should be one for all your services. For example, offers tons of helpful info on diverse range of topics and all of it is offered under one domain. You will find CMS related info under while webdesign related info under It increases search engine visibility and user traffic too.


Maximize user interaction:

Websites those provide more options of user interaction, benefits a lot as users will tend to come more often where they are provided more options of interaction. For example, allows all registered users to ask and answer the questions and represent their views on diverse topics. This works perfectly infallibly for almost all kind of websites. Another good example for this is which allows registered users to share, pin & comment on the images over the website.


Simplicity rules:

Except a half dozen websites in Top 100, all others offer a very simple user interface that maximizes readability and minimizes the use of unusual color combinations. Most of top 100 websites offer a plain white background with readable black or dark shaded text and minimal use of colors other than blue, yellow, red, green etc which are easy on eye. After all it is your responsibility to make users feel comfortable even if there is a huge amount of data on your single webpage. Search engines like & does it perfectly and hence they simply rule.


SEO is second to the value you deliver to users:

However marketing your website is often vital to keep your website circulating on your users’ mind, SEO is something that comes second after your content value. You should focus more on content quality and quantity rather than manual link building as valuable content will bring more natural backlinks that will prove of more value over long passage of time. I don’t think that or ever needed manual link building, however marketing was always there.


Revenue means User experience:

Almost all this top 100 websites offer their services totally for free or with a free registration. To be among top 100 most visited websites in world, you will need to allow as many users as you can to access your website. And hence your services should be free. However, you can generate revenue from your expenses using affiliate marketing and other forms of online revenue generation strategies. Thus true revenue is user experience. The better the user experience is, the more loyal users you will get. The more loyal users you have, the more profit they will bring you in turn.

And last one,

It takes time & consistency:

Have you learned all these lessons, now pledge that you won’t ever quit trying and testing . You never know when search engines place you on top of the results and your luck changes overnight. However, in most of cases traffic won’t start boiling all of sudden. You will have to deliver consistently brilliant content and user experience. For example, was there from many years but it suddenly took off after public discussion of Obama over Reddit. However, it happened because it was there and was unique. It wouldn’t have been possible if Reddit owner had shut down it in just few months after not getting so much of traffic.

On my own experience, I can say that the most infallible key among all these golden keys is consistency and continuous adaption of changing Internet marketing trends. So follow these rules blindly and you will be able to achieve exceptional success over Internet.

At, we have been inspiring exceptional Internet victories since more than a decade and as a part of that, we offer best quality web design, development, content creation and marketing services. So if you need any kind of professional service in creating, maintaining and marketing your website, please contact us. we assure you the best you can get with your money.

One thought on “Alexa Top 100: What Makes These Websites So Successful

  1. Sherri Schuster

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!



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